Restoration of e-passport issuance comes with an advantage of fee reduction by 55% from K90,000 to K50,000

* The reduction of the fee is for ordinary passports with waiting processing period of 10 days when the system will be fully calibrated and operating normally

* Kalumo further says more details will be announced soon when Ministers of Homeland Affairs & Information will hold a press conference

By Duncan Mlanjira

The Department of Immigration & Citizenship has successfully completed restoration of e-passport issuance system and announced an advantage of passport fee reduction by 55% from K90,000 to K50,000.

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In a statement issued today by Director General, Brigadier General Charles Kalumo (retired), says the e-passport issuance services have resumed and printing of passports will start gradually in Lilongwe this week and later on in other regions.

The reduction of the fee is for ordinary passports with waiting processing period of 10 days when the system will be fully calibrated and operating normally.

Kalumo further says more details will be announced soon when Ministers of Homeland Affairs & Information will hold a press conference 

“The Department of Immigration & Citizenship would like to thank all concerned Malawians for their patience during the time the e-passport issuance system was being fixed by a team of local experts from various entities who worked around the clock to complete the task within the time frame set by His Excellency the President,” says Kalumo in the statement.

After some reports that the Immigration Department lost important demographic data as a result of the recent cybersecurity breach, Kalumo assured the public that it fully recovered all data.

President Chakwera announcing in Parliament that the system was hacked

This was after President Lazarus Chakwera ordered the expeditious restoration of the passport issuance system, which he announced in Parliament that it had been hacked by unknown cybercrime experts and were demanding a huge ransom from Government.

The President announced that his administration had no plans to bow down to the hackers and thus asked the government machinery to solve the crisis expeditiously.

When ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) president Clarence Game offered its assistance to the recovery, President Chakwera further ordered the inclusion of the private sector and the process was enhanced through a team that included IT experts from the Department of E-Government in the Ministry of Information; the National Registration Bureau (NRB) in the Ministry of Homeland Security, and the Department of Innovation and Creativity in the Office of the President & Cabinet as well as Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA).

Meanwhile, ICTAM urges public entities to always seek support from local experts whenever they face challenges in their operations, including cyber attacks.

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