Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda’s Speaker has questioned the legality of East African Passport .
“On plans to introduce the new East African electronic passport to replace the current passports, the Ministry of Internal Affairs says the ordinary passport with 48 and 64 pages will cost Shs250,000 and Shs300,000 respectively; the official passport or Service passport, will cost Shs400,000 while the Diplomatic passport will cost Shs500,000, while Shs150,000 will be charged as the express fee”.
Kadaga said my concerns however are with the entire process from its legality, the ease of administration and costs.
“I don’t think there is a country recognised as East Africa for it to be able to issue passports. I also don’t know whether the EAC Presidents’ directive was ever brought to the attention of Parliament”.
The Protocol has not yet been read here in Parliament so where is the legal authority of changing the Ugandan passport to an East African passport?
What’s the motive of the new passport?
Am not against the move to modernize our immigration sector but these are my questions?
1.How do you tell someone who has just paid for a passport meant to be valid for 10 years to pay new charges for a new passport?
2. How do you carter for those working abroad or Ugandans living in the diaspora, who don’t intend to return to Uganda within 2 years. Notwithstanding the fact that some embassies don’t even have the capability to print these new passports.
3. I sense that this move is driven more by business than development. After realizing that over one million Ugandans hold passports, the company contracted and its backers know it’s a chance to make over 300 billion shillings from this venture.
4. Legally it’s a breach of contract by government. When a citizen pays for a service of 10 years, government as a party cannot receive that money from its citizens and then ask for new payment for the same upgraded document. Therefore this is real theft that Ugandans cannot accept.
If the government indeed has good faith, let them just replace with no pay at all for all those passports with at least morethan 9 and half years left to expire.
We cannot accept a government that colludes with private companies to rob from its citizens.
As shadow minister for security, together with my other colleagues. We shall petition this including going to court to stop this.
I will also be live later on to address the country on this matter.