By Ssazi Shafik
The Uganda Government is ready to announce a new date for the expiry of Ugandan Machine Readable Passports which were supposed to be phased out on January 15, 2021.
Addressing the press at media center in Kampala on Monday 24th the spokesperson Ministry of Internal Affairs, Jacob Siminyu, and COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the process of phasing out old passports.
Siminyu said that the deadline was earlier agreed upon by the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State summit and binds all five EAC States.
“Concerns have been expressed due to the effects of COVID19U. So a new date will be communicated after consultation with other East African countries” Siminyu said during a press briefing at the Media Center on Monday.
Upon expiry, Ugandans will be required to use the new e-passport, also known as the East African Passport
Jacobo Siminyu strongly advised Ugandans to continue renewing their passports online while following COVID-19 safety protocols and to avoid inconveniences of processing last-minute applications.
“Applying for East African passports continues. Please before you come to our offices, ensure that you have a mask and sanitized your hands against COVID19,” Siminyu said.
The ministry moved passport applications online. The online application is quicker since an applicant does not need to get a recommendation from local leaders as it were initially.
Siminyu added that the system is integrated with the National Identity Registration Authority-NIRA and National Identity Technology Authority- NITA-U.