Scores of Malawians on Tuesdays stormed regional offices of the Immigration Department where they pushed, pressed and jostled each for passport applications following claims that government has hiked the fees for the travelling document effective October 1.
Claims were rifle, mainly on social media that government has hiked fees for the normal or 30-day processed passport from K15,100 to K40,000, 5-day passport from K25,000 to K60,000 and 2-day processed or express passport from K35,100 to K80,000.
This resulted in huge turn- out and long queues at the department’s offices in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu as applicants wanted to avoid the new fees by having their application forms processed at the offices by close of business Tuesday, September 30.
While describing the claims as “untrue”, spokesperson for the Department Martha Gonondo admitted that they experienced “unusual and overwhelming turn out” following those “unfounded claims”.
Gonondo claimed that government can never adjust the fees without making official announcement to the general public.
“It’s not true. There is no grain of truth in those claims. Government has not told us anything, as such the department cannot adjust the fees on its own,” said Gonondo.
Gonondo further urged Malawians not to get bothered with those claims, which she said, could have been ignited by government’s detractors.
“If anything, government will make formal announcement when it decides to hike fees,” she added.
She then said people should not get confused with revised fees for road traffic services and road traffic offences.
It is the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety services (DRTSS) that will effect new fees from October 1.
“I’m pretty aware that government revised the fees at the Road Traffic. May be people are thinking along those lines that government also revised the fees for passport.
“But as earlier stated, fees for passport have not been hiked,” she said.
Government announced early September that it had adjusted the fees for Road Traffic Services and Offences in line with the Government Notice No. 30, Road Traffic Act (Cap. 69:01)-Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Fees) (Amendment) Regulation, 2014 and Government Notice No. 31 Road Traffic Act (Cap. 69:01) Road Traffic (Prescribed Offences and Penalties) (Amendment) Regulations, 2014, respectively.
“This is to serve as a notice to the general public and our clients that effective 1st October, 2014, new and adjusted fees for services and fines for prescribed offences will be in effect,” said James Chirwa, Director of Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services.
He said the summary of prescribed fees and offences would be published in due course and that the schedule will also be available at all DRTSS offices in Mzuzu, Blantyre, Lilongwe and Zomba, and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works offices in Lilongwe.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :