By William Madouk Garang
People who had processed passports have not been receiving their passports because of some technical issues, the boss of the Immigration department, Lt-Gen. Atem Marol Biar said.
This clarification from the authority came after some citizens who processed their passports have spent a month now without receiving their documents; with others saying processing nationality and passport are granted only if one is sick or a student.
Gen. Atem Marol Biar, the Director General of the Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passport and Immigration, said people who finished their passport processes since July can collect their documents on Tuesday next week.
“I would like to inform our citizens who processed their passport documents since last week in July until now that, their passports are delayed because of some technical issues,” Biar told Journalists, a day after his arrival from Ethiopia.
“But we request them [those who processed passports] to come on Tuesday 23, on August next week to receive their passports,” he added.
He also assured that government has a plan to clear all arrears of contracted Germany Company which government owes them some money so that there would be enough booklets.
“Last year, the government paid half, and this year, government have a good plan to clear the balance, so that we have enough types of booklets in the Country,” Gen. Biar stated.
In 2020 South Sudan halted issuance of Nationality Certificate Identification card and passport, after its German Technology provider shutdown the system over failure to pay accumulative bill of up to USD 6.9 million.
The Government however resumed issuance of regular passports and nationality IDs in November 2021, after the government through Ministry of Finance paid USD 3.4 million to the Germany firm, Mauhlbauer.
However, a troubled mother, Beatrice (not her real name), said her first born daughter Mary is set to travel out of the country for higher education but a passport is threatening to kill her joy in seeing her daughter fly to Europe.
“She has been moody for the past two weeks. September is here and yet there is no indication that she gets the passport,” Beatrice said.
She narrated that they have spent more than $150 on immigration officials and their middlemen who promises to speed up the release of documents but to no avail.
An official from directorate of immigration said that passport booklets were out of stock and 5,000 booklets were brought on Tuesday evening.
Number of clients processing passport said services were only there for people who were sick, students and Very Important Persons (VIPs).
Jacob, a student processing passport for his brother in Cairo, Egypt said the process was energetic if you are a sick person or a student. He added that he recently got his passport processed by his cousin at the Directorate.
James Mapuor Acuoth, the Director of Information and Public Relations at DNPI told local media earlier that complaints should be directed to the Director-General so that they can be solved promptly.
He asked those who claimed they were duped and spent a long time without receiving their passport to go to the Directorate and meet with the boss so their issues can be solved.
The Director-General Atem Marol Biar, in January vowed to cleanse the Directorate of mischievous practices.