The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control DCIC was recently hoodwinked into approving and printing 260 Diplomatic Passports for conmen and women who have nothing to do with representing the government abroad.
Many of the conmen and women were dealers who travel abroad to trade and a diplomatic passport enables them to enter through the airport without their personal luggage being subjected to scrutiny. This can enable one to bring in high value good worth hundreds of millions undeclared.
The loophole that enabled the conment to have their diplomatic passport applications approved was the online application system and the high pressure the DCIC has been under to process passports for the one and a half million Ugandans passport holders plus new applicants. All Ugandan old passports, however recently issued, expired automatically on April 4th with the switch over to East African machine readable passports that have higher security features than the old ones.
Fortunately, some of the 260 conmen and women have not been allowed to collect the passports after some DCIC personnel became suspicious as the ‘diplomatic’ applicants turned and looked and acted every inch traders, unable to even exhibit basic knowledge about the sector or departments indicated on their applications.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs Spokesperson Simon Peter Mundeyi says that many Ugandans who lie about their status and went ahead to pay for diplomatic passports will not be given a refund of the extra 250,000 Shillings paid for the special travel document. He however did not say if they will be prosecuted for uttering false documents or for impersonation.