In a bid to speed up issuance of passports, employees of the Lesotho Home Affairs Ministry, including 60 additional temporary staff, are issuing 4800 passports daily to ease a backlog of those needing to have the important travel document.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs, Lesao Lehohla, said this at a press conference held at Lesotho Television studios yesterday.
The Minister was responding to a wide concern from the public that even though temporary travelling documents have been abolished, citizens wait too long to get their passports.
He explained that officers will work overtime, for the next two months the plan is to cover 200 000 people who have already applied for the passports.
“The government will hold talks with South African officials to establish whether they can accept another form of permit in possession of Lesotho government to be used, while the existing one is being abolished,” he explained.
The minister said he accepted the long outcry by the public regarding delay and corruption surrounding issuance of passports in Lesotho, and promised to further tighten the belt to address this matter through construction of new centre in Mohale’s Hoek, that is meant to ensure safety and security of issuance of passports.
The minister noted that the introduction of national identity documents is still on the pipeline, and encouraged people not to ‘poison’ officers by bribing them, saying it is their responsibility to deliver proper services.
The press briefing comes a day after the minister announced that temporary travelling documents will no longer be used to alleviate crime activities associated with them in and outside the country.
Pic: Maseru border post in Lesotho