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New passport deadline extended to March 2010

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By WELCOME DLAMINI - SWAZI TIMES-20-Aug-2009

MBABANE – Many people will be happy to know that the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to extend the deadline for acquiring the new passports to the end of March next year.

Minister Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze the decision to postpone the deadline from the initial date of December 31 was necessitated by the large number of requests they had received from members of the public.

"It is the nation that called for the deadline extension after fears that they would not be able to meet the one set for December and we listened to their request hence the deadline will now be the end of government’s financial year, end of March," the minister said.

Over a week ago, parliamen-tarians also requested the minister to extend the deadline because they felt a majority of the public would not meet the December deadline due to slow government processes.

This was during the debate of the ministry’s first quarter performance report by the parliament portfolio commit-tee.

Notified

Gamedze also notified the nation that passports were not only available in Mbabane, but other areas like Nhlangano, Manzini and Hlathikhulu.

"A lot of people come to Mbabane with the hope that they will speedily get the passports only to find that the operations are the same as those in the other areas which is why I urge people to go to the nearest town instead of coming to the capital city," he said.

The minister further drew attention to the fact that those people who do not have the new passports as yet were free to use the old ones.

"There is nothing wrong with the old passports as they are still valid, the only thing we did was to make December 31 the deadline for acquiring the new ones which has now been extended to March which means the old documents are valid until then," Gamedze clarified.


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