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Internal Affairs Ministry set to destroy over 60,000 uncollected passports

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Simon Kabayo
Simon Kabayohttps://eagle.co.ug
Reporter whose work is detailed

The Ministry of Internal Affairs is set to destroy over 60,000 uncollected passports worth Shs12.5 billion, citing storage space constraints. The unclaimed passports, mostly belonging to individuals seeking employment in the Middle East, have been stored at the Kyambogo collection center for years.

“We have been keeping these passports for a long time, but the owners have not come to collect them. We are running out of storage space, and we have decided to destroy them,” said Simon Mundeyi, the Ministry’s spokesperson.

Mundeyi explained that the passports have remained unclaimed for longer than six years, and the labor export activities have drastically reduced. “We have tried to contact the owners, but most of the phone numbers are no longer in use. We have also advertised in newspapers, but no one has come forward to claim them,” he added.

The Ministry has been struggling to manage the backlog of uncollected passports, which have accumulated since 2018. “These passports keep accumulating, and we are running out of storage at our collection center in Kyambogo. We currently have over 60,000 uncollected passports, which have not been claimed by their owners,” Mundeyi said.

The congestion has been worsened by an additional 10,400 passports abandoned by labor export companies and embassies. “When the passport is ready, messages are sent to the applicants to collect them. However, their phones are often off, and the messages bounce. We have tried contacting them using our toll-free lines, but nothing has yielded results,” Mundeyi explained.

The Ministry is urging people who applied for passports to promptly pick them up or check the ministry’s website to find out the status of their documents. “We don’t want to destroy anyone’s passport, but we are running out of space. We are appealing to those who applied for passports to come and collect them,” Mundeyi said.

The destruction of the passports is expected to take place next month, and the Ministry is urging the public to take action to avoid losing their travel documents. “Passports allow for exit from and re-entry into a country and also enable citizens to travel in a foreign country in line with visa requirements and request protection for the citizen while abroad,” Mundeyi emphasized.

The Ministry has also reminded citizens that passports are essential travel documents that enable exit and re-entry into a country and provide protection abroad. In Uganda, three types of passports are issued: ordinary, official, and diplomatic. The uncollected passports fall under the ordinary category, which costs Shs250,000 for a booklet.

The public has been advised to take urgent action to claim their passports before the deadline to avoid destruction.

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