THIS WEEK: Parliament questions new e-pass port
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | After government announced recently that they are phasing out the current passport in favor of the East African Community (EAC) e-passport, parliament received it with mixed feelings. When Internal Affairs Minister, Obiga Kania presented a statement on it, a slew of questions followed.
Obiga who told legislators that government had already signed a contract with a foreign firm to supply it with the new booklets said Presidents of the EAC had in 2016 agreed that issuing of the new passports starts in 2017 and the old ones be phased in a period of two years.
He said the move is not just an EAC affair as about 150 other countries have migrated from the paper type passports to a more superior e-passport that is fitted with microchips to store personal data, and can’t be easily manipulated. However, after his presentation several members of parliament queried the timing, deadlines and the price of Shs250, 000 and Shs500, 000 for diplomats that the new document is to go for.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked why government had chosen an EAC passport yet it’s not sovereign state and whether the law won’t need to be amended to accommodate the changes. Others wondered what would happen to citizens who have just incurred an expense of a passport and now need to pay for an electronic one.
How about us who paid already paid the 150000/=,