The newly issued East African Community E-passports lack vital bio data for the holders, URN has learnt. The E-passports contain a chip, which should ideally carry the bio data of the holders. This includes the names, date of birth, village of origin, finger prints, picture, height and contacts of the holder.
However, URN has learnt that the 19000 passports issued so far, only contain a picture and scanty information about the holder on the first page. The Internal Affairs Ministry Spokesperson, Jacob Siminyu told URN this afternoon that the chips have so far been installed with facial recognition biometric features.
He said they will add the remaining data when they receive it from the National Identification and Registration Authority-NIRA. "When we get the data from NIRA we will add it onto what we have. For those who have already received by the time we renew their passports, we shall have that data," Simunyu told URN.
Even as people flock the Internal Affairs Ministry every day to exchange their passports for the new electronic one, it is still unclear when the missing data will be in place. Despite the absence of the vital bio data, the new passports have since been cleared by several embassies and states including Denmark, which had refused to give Visas to some holders of its holders two weeks ago.
Marcelino Bwesigye, the acting Director Citizenship and Immigration Directorate, says the issue was never with the quality of the passport but rather the systems of the different states.
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The Ministry has ability to print up-to 1,000 E-passports a day having upgraded their system from the 400 passport printing capability.