Passport Backlog Now Stands At Close To 200 000

Cross border traders have been negatively affected by the government’s failure to issue passports on time especially the $53 one.

The registrar general’s office has reportedly halted the issuing of emergency passports unless the case requires urgency.

A cross-border trader identified as Majanyuke, who to spoke to the Daily News had this to say:

When your business is standing still and your children need to eat and go to school, you go through desperate measures.

The decision to stop issuing emergency passports or limiting them to few emergency cases is a deep cut to us cross-borders considering that the $53 passports are taking ages to be processed.

Another cross-border trader told the Daily News that failure to access passports exposes women to dangers such as human trafficking. She said:

Due to failure in obtaining passports some women eventually attempt to cross the border illegally and pay bribes on the way, an option that is dangerous and open to abuse.

Traffickers use dangerous routes that might endanger the lives of the women exposing them to robberies and crossing dangerous or flooded rivers.

The passport office now has a backlog of nearly 200 000 applications while it is able to issue only 500 emergency passport a day.

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