Immigration Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Malawi has suspended issuance of passport due to the fact that the office does not have passport books as its printing is affected with lack of resources, Nyasa Times understands.
Passport seekers who have been queuing at the Immigration offices in Blantyre and Lilongwe have been frustrated as they are not being helped due to the non issuance of the booklets.
“We have suspended the whole printing process of passports,” a source at the Immigration told Nyasa Times.
The source said the department will be able to issue travelling documents for those who are cortically ill and have to make a foreign trip for medical treatment.
When Malawi Government hiked the passport fees increase by 320 percent, Malawians thought problems which have been locking the department will now be water under the bridge.
Government increased the ordinary passport fees from K15,100 to K48,500 while the express passport were hiked from K25,100 to K58,500 which lasts only 5 days.
The department hiked emergency passport from K35, 100 to K85, 500.
But when contacted for comment Immigration Public Relations officer Martha Gonondo confirmed about the hitches but rebutted that assertion that the department has suspended the printing.
“We have not suspended as you are putting it but we are just printing ‘on a need basis’. W e are hoping to rectify the problem by next week, “said Gonondo.
Centre for the Development of people executive director Gift Trapence on Monday urged immigration office to ensure that the right of Malawians to own passport should be upheld all the time.
President Peter Mutharika, in pursuit of the public service reform process, ordered the Immigration Department to decentralise printing of Passports to regional offices, meaning passports have to be printed in Blantyre, Mzuzu and Lilongwe.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :