Immigration claims it will be printing 15,000 passport copies per day


The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services (DICS) has claimed that its newly acquired machine will enable it to be printing 15,000 passports per day.

This comes as on Wednesday, 13th March, 2024, the department released a press statement, signed by its Director General, Brigadier General Charles Kalumo, in which he announced the restoration of the system which went down in mid January this year.

Kalumo through the statement, further announced that government has reduced the e-passport fee by 55 percent for local Malawians, from K90,000 to K50, 000, for ordinary passports with waiting processing time of 10 days when the system is fully calibrated and operating optimally.

After the announcement, social media was awash with reports where some quarters of the society have been speculating that Malawians have been fooled by the department as the system still remains hacked and that e-passports issuance will not start any time soon.

However, the department’s spokesperson, Wellington Chiponde, has quashed the rumours, claiming the system had not been tampered with again and he further assured Malawians that everything is going as announced by the department’s Director General through the press statement.

“We are printing the passports. Of course, we are not receiving new applications because we are waiting for the parliament to gazette the new price of K50, 000 before accepting new applicants,” said Chiponde.

The restoration of the system and the resumption of the passports printing is within the 21-day ultimatum which president Lazarus Chakwera gave the department on February 29, 2024, when he expressed concerned with the suffering Malawians were being subjected to due to long wait for the travel documents.

Meanwhile, the e-passport issuance has only resumed in Lilongwe and it is expected to expand to other regions in due course and it is reported that new passport applicants will be accommodated once the new passport fee is gazetted.