Hundreds of people are failing to access their passports at the immigration department following the shortage of passport booklets that has hit the department, inside sources confirm.

“We are indeed facing this problem in our department and many people are not making it to have their passports finalized and given to them,” said the source.

The source said only those going for higher priced passports that are at K35,000 are given the opportunity to access their passports.

“Even those passports that are going at K35,000 are not given out in time. However, those that are going out of the country on official duty often seem to be given special consideration,” said the source.

Despite the delays that are already there in releasing the 21 day passport which costs K15,000, the source said currently the period is extending even to a period of three months.

“I have been coming here to check my 21 day passport which I processed two months ago. What I am told is that I should just keep on waiting which has actually exhausted all my energies looking at the fact that I need to spend transport money to and from home and some money to buy lunch while here,” complained one applicant who did not want to be named.

Another applicant said she has since missed her business opportunities in South Africa because her renewed passport which has taken over 21 days now is not yet ready.

“I am a business lady and I needed to renew my passport which I actually did but the processes are not yet over. I clinched some businesses deals in South Africa some of which I already collected money from and I feel I have betrayed my clients because the festive season is already here and I have failed my promise,” she complained.

Immigration authorities are expressing ignorance on the matter despite source confirming the developments.

The department’s Public Relations Officer, Martha Gonondo said she is not aware of the development asking for more time to consult before giving feedback.

“I am not aware we have that problem in the department. I should make proper consultations to come up with a proper feedback,” said Gonondo.

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