Immigration Dept Suspends Passports Printing
Some Malawians working in South Africa and beyond who returned for holidays are fearing for their jobs following the prolonged stay owing to the slowdown in passport printing at the Immigration Department.
One of the concerned passport seekers from Thyolo told Zodiak Online on Wednesday that they have been going to the department for two weeks now but it transpired that passport books have depleted.
"I went there some two weeks ago and found the passport books depleting. I then called them three days ago to follow up and the situation was the same. I was told that it may normalise end February. You know most people working in South Africa were on holiday this January and were worried about their jobs," he said.
Meanwhile, Director General for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services, Major Charles Kalumo retired, has admitted that currently they are printing passports for the emergency travelers only, assuring that, "we are working to rectify the challenge which involves several sectors."
Social commentator, Wonderful Mkhutche says the development will have socio-economic implications on Malawians, urging the government to procure a new passport printer.
"Malawians are travelers, one of them is for economic reasons. So if the Immigration is not able to provide that service, it means a certain section of our economy will be affected," Mkhutche said.
Mkhutche suggested: "So the solution is simple, we need a new company to be doing the services that was initially ended after that contract.
Government terminated passport contract with Techno Brain last year.