Passport woes at Home Affairs lead to increased frustrations

Eileen van der Schyff

Namibia’s passport woes continue. Despite public outrage and numerous complaints the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration seemingly cannot get control of the situation.

Complaints stream in from angry coastal residents who say they are being double hit by the Ministry’s incompetence, as firstly there are no passport books and secondly emergency travel documents can also not be issued when traveling to South Africa, as this neighbouring country doesn’t accept Namibian emergency travel documents.
“This is ridiculous! I want to get my son a passport as he has to attend a sport event in South Africa. However, I am unable to do so because of unavailability of passport books and now there is a problem with emergency travel documents”, one outraged resident explained.
A call to Home Affairs revealed the following: Firstly, there is no green passport books avail-able yet and no one seems to know when these passport books will be available again. Secondly, emergency travel documents will only be issued if the applicant has to travel to South Africa for medical reasons. Then only after the application is approved by a committee in Home Affairs. For no other reasons would emergency travel documents be issued.
Thirdly, the Ministry does issue brown passport books, but these passports are only accepted in the SADC which means it can only be used to travel to Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia and Zimbabwe.
A ministerial official told Namib Times the Minister of Home affairs and Immigration, Frans Kapofi is busy arranging for better agreements regarding emergency

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