The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services has admitted that it has scaled down passport production because it has run out of resources.
A source has told Malawi24 that the central region office is only printing 10 passports per day following an order from the department’s top bosses.
The source further told us that though the department has scaled down the issuing of the passports, but it is still receiving money (K90,000 per normal application) from an average of 100 applicants per day.
Malawi24 further understands that applicants who pay for the document are told to wait for 10 days but after that they are told to get a letter from their workplace a development which has been described as an injustice since most of them are businesspersons with no workplace.
When contacted to react to the matter, the department’s National Public Relations Officer, Wellington Chiponde, admitted to have scaled down the production and attributed the situation as a result of inadequate passport materials.
Chiponde said as of now the department is only prioritizing the printing of emergency and express passports but it is engaging the supplier of the passport consumables to supply them with urgency.
“We have scaled down production of passports due to inadequate passport consumables in stock, and our approach towards the issuance of passports is to prioritize emergency and express passport applications.
“Normal issuance of passports will resume as soon as the supplier deliver passport consumables, and as a Department, we are doing everything possible to normalize the situation,” reacted Chiponde.
On demanding a letter from applicants’ workplace, the publicist said since they are only prioritizing emergency and express passports, applications are supposed to be supported by evidence in the form of official documents.
Meanwhile, frustrated Malawians continue to line up at the Immigration offices to wait for the passports without being told of the scaling down in production.