The Uganda passport is one of the internationally legally recognised travel documents and owning one is enshrined as right in the constitution but from 14th June to early August, only a few Ugandans applying for this document will be able to get one.
Government has announced that it has run short of ordinary passports and will now start issuing the remaining few to only emergency cases such as patients seeking treatment abroad or people travelling to conduct government business and students who get foreign scholarships.
According to a statement from issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, those who do not fit into the above category will have to wait longer, to get a passport once they apply for it. In the statement issued on June 13, the ministry attributed the shortage partly to the impending switch from ‘machine readable passports to electronic passports’.
The state minister for internal affairs Obiga Kania says Uganda had committed to switching to machine readable passports, along with other countries in the region, but but some challenges on procurement meant that only a few passports could be processed, which has led to the current shortage.
With more Ugandans now interested in travelling out of the country in search for jobs and education among others, the immigration department says there is a sharp rise in the demand for passports.
Obiga Kania assures that for those seeking other kinds of passports like the East African passport or diplomatic passport, there are no shortages. He also adds that those travelling within the East Africa Community can travel with temporary travel documents that can be processed at any border crossing.