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Passport Storage Overload: Uganda’s Immigration Crisis

The Ugandan Directorate of Immigration is currently grappling with a storage crisis due to a significant accumulation of uncollected passports. Across five centers located in Kampala, Jinja, Gulu, Mbarara, and Mbale, more than 50,000 passports, some dating back to 2018, remain unclaimed.

Simon Mudenyi, spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, has raised alarm over this issue. The sheer volume of unclaimed passports has resulted in a storage crunch, hindering the Directorate’s ability to process new applications efficiently.

Communication hurdles present a major obstacle. Many passport holders are unreachable due to inactive phone numbers or failed attempts at delivering messages. This breakdown in communication has made it challenging for authorities to notify individuals about their unclaimed passports. Additionally, the recent addition of 2,000 unclaimed passports from 2024 has further compounded the problem. To address this backlog and facilitate efficient processing for new applicants, the public is strongly encouraged to collect their passports promptly. Mudenyi stresses that the process for claiming passports is simple and urges holders to come forward promptly.

Efforts are underway within the Directorate of Immigration to enhance communication channels and expedite the retrieval of unclaimed passports. However, immediate action is necessary to alleviate the strain on resources and prevent further escalation of the situation.


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