New e-Passport? Malawi govt agencies stop milking the citizens!

If you see the oppression of the poor and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in the state or province, do not marvel at the matter. [Be sure that there are those who will attend to it] for a higher [official] than the high is observing, and higher ones are over them. — Ecclesiastes 5:8

The Malawi immigration department, the road authority, the Malawi Revenue Authority, ESCOM, and the MACRA continues to levy charges to the Malawi population, with little thought to the financial burden it makes on ordinary Malawians. These departments’ continued increases in their services and products are issued with alarming repetitive and often exhibitive soaring costs. The most recent financial onslaught is the proposed e-passport that is being rolled out as early as December 30, 2019.

Malawi passport

The announcement for the proposed e-passport project said: “the Malawi Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services wishes to inform the general public and all stakeholders that it is upgrading the passport issuance system and will introduce the electronic passport (e-passport) from December 2019; which will eventually replace the current Machine Readable Passport.”

The e-passport is like the traditional booklet that will be embedded with an electronic microprocessor chip; it stores demographic biometric information. It can be used to authenticate the identification of someone. Ideally, the e-passport can remotely process and access information. It comes with enhanced security features.

The department informs Malawians in a press released on December 10, 2019, that although the new passport will run concurrently with the machine-readable one, this will be for a specified period. It, therefore, encourages Malawians to acquire the e-passport affirming that after a specified period, the old passport may not be used outside Malawi travel. The release furthermore states that Malawi embassies will be equipped with systems installed that will make it easier for members of the Malawi diaspora to register and pay for the e-passport.

The department states that the airports and borders will be installed with machines that will process emergency e-passports. All these will enable Malawi to align with international standards laid out by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

It is regrettable that this is the third time in the last 25 years that the Immigration Department has changed the passport features, calling for all passport holders to acquire the new passports; each time causing Malawians to folk out increasing fees. Currently, a Malawi passport costs MK80 000 ($108.53); doubtless, the e-passport will come with a higher purchasing tab.

Another concern for Malawians wishing to secure the e-passport will need for some reason the National ID. This is a non-starter for two reasons. Firstly, the requirement for the National ID will disqualify many Malawians, especially those that are in the diaspora, greatly disadvantaging them. According to one envoy, National ID machines are not yet available in embassies.  Other countries use the driver’s license as a form of ID, a former passport or a birth certificate.

Secondly, if a Malawian purchased a passport last year, paying MK80 000, he or she will be required to pay another $108.53. The immigration department’s frequent passport changes, for whatever newer security reasons, are costly for the Malawian citizens.

Lastly, the department claims that the implementation of the e-passport project will “continue to maintain the integrity that is attached to a Malawi passport internationally as a trusted travel document.” This claim is received by many Malawians with much skepticism, laughter, and ridicule. On the heels and aftermath of the “tippexed” May 21 tripartite elections, they are asking how credible is the claim the department make? Can the machines be trusted that they will not be manipulated by issuing e-passports to foreign nationals?

Malawi government agencies should stop milking the cow; Malawian citizens have come of age; they know when they are being duped; they also receive anything suspect anything the Malawi government introduces that uses machines.

Malawians remember the 147 madandos.

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Mwana wa Anabanda
Mwana wa Anabanda
1 year ago

As Malawian living outside Malawi I have just noticed that many officials posted as High commissioners or Ambassadors are a bunch of incompetent people who don’t have priorities on their jobs. The National ID cards seem to be part a passport application, yet people living in diaspora are not prioritized. I wonder how they expect to implement this successfully? And I think Malawi government is using the Immigration Department as the cash cow. Government must begin to subsidize some services. Our economy is for the super rich who don’t show any sign of hard work but stealing. Where is this… Read more »

Share
Share
1 year ago

Ofuna passport si mphawi, and currently the cost of passport is K48,500. Not K80, 000 ngati bodza likunenedwali. M
Passport sakakamiza

Adam wadi
Adam wadi
1 year ago

Before we fix our passports, why don’t we fix our road networks and major problems in the country that requires priority attention? I mean people are sti traveling and no one is complaining. So lack of leadership shows how one is capable of not fixing the current problems, but instead trying to create a problem that was not there and trying to fix it, I mean, this is 2019 towards 2020, it’s time you use your brains leaders in Malawi

Kaporo
Kaporo
1 year ago

What’s so special with this thing you’re calling e pass port pali miseu magetsi just to mention a few bwanj boma silifuna kut tfananeso ndimaiko ena magetsi asamazime tziyenda mu4ways traffic ngat anzatu pazosez langosankhapo passport why milking an already thin cow,kuba basi

Madala
Madala
1 year ago

Koma Janet mwakalambadi. Kukalamba sizinthu. Munali ku embassy inu ku America and you should know better the importance of the e-passport. Out of the people, you, Janet Karim, blaming the government for introducing e-passport. Chifukwa choti munasiya kuyenda kunja. Hahaha. Mai, kukalamba sichoncho. Ukasowa mano usaswe phale. Read international news and you will see that it worldwide, countries are required to have e-passports. Mwandichititsa manyazi.

Sahara
Sahara
1 year ago

“with a micro chip” = 666. Just like the national ID. We won’t be able to travel without the chip. End of days. Zinalembedwa izi mu Bible. Pitala is the biggest satanic president this country has had. The beast with seven horns.

Kharupa
Kharupa
1 year ago
Reply to  Sahara

The mark of the beast is about worship my friend, not technology.

musadandaule
musadandaule
1 year ago

To be honoust I dont understand the problem. Malawi is catching up with international standards for passports. This seems better than lagging behind. Upgrading 3 times in 25 years does not seem that often considering how fast technology is developing. I am not a theologian but I doubt the bible verse applies to upgrading of a passport. Maybe we should appreciate progress instead, it does not happen that often. In the mean time I may stop reading Nyasa times because quality of news and thoughtfullness of comments really seems to be declining since I started reading 12 years ago.

Dolo
Dolo
1 year ago
Reply to  musadandaule

Do you have a passport? You sound wack!!

Jackol
Jackol
1 year ago

All these are funded by American Government for them easily to trackdown terrorist.

Naluso
Naluso
1 year ago

This is the DPP trying to milk the most out of the thin cow before they go. Believe me ali mkati kubelatu panopo and will use every possible means to steal from the citizens of Malawi. A Cama tithandizeni apa abale, kodi munakalipo a Maputo?

Madala
Madala
1 year ago
Reply to  Naluso

Umbuzi. kusadziwa

Dr. Mvuma
Dr. Mvuma
1 year ago

Why are we Malawians are allowing these Thieves and Thugs to abuse us like this. How many times shall the Malawi government changing Passports so that those Hungry Thieving Leaders have leeway of siphoning the money that we pay for such systems. Since when did they realize we need to align with International Standards. Where are the strategists and Planners.. Malawians, for once let us rise and defend ourselves from this thugry government. We can not sit phwii when we are being robed by these thieves day light. It actually pains me a lot. It is a curse to be… Read more »

Madala
Madala
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Mvuma

Mufa ndi mtima chifukwa chosadziwa

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