E-Passport Fee Riles CAMA
The abrupt termination of old passports owing to the introduction of new electronic passport system by the Immigration Department has not amused the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA).
CAMA Executive Director John Kapito feels this is gross breach of contract between the department and consumers whose passports are still valid.
“Some people have just renewed their passports, while others have passports that are still valid, so making such people pay for the E-passports is not a welcome idea,” Kapito said.
He suggests the Immigration Department should simply replace old booklet passports with the new E-passports than demanding valid passport holders to pay for production of the new passports.
On the other hand, the Immigration Department Spokesperson Joseph Chauwa said they want to meet international standards.
“The E-passport we are about to introduce has new advanced features such as a computer chip which carries all information about the passport holder,” Chauwa said.
“This is a modern way which other countries are using. Passport holders will only be required to pay $100(about K74 000 on the current foreign exchange rate).”
The Immigration Department is introducing the e-passport which subsequently invalidates all existing booklet passports.
The situation has brought anxiety among people as they can no longer renew their old passports nor apply for new passports pending January next year when the new system will be in force of course not without a fee.