Over 1,000 people in Masaka, Mukono, Wakiso, Bukomansimbi and Lyantonde Districts risk having their passports cancelled following reports that they used forged documents to obtain them.
This follows the arrest of two officers attached to Masaka Immigration Office on Thursday who reportedly aided them to acquire the passports.
According to Masaka deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Joseph Sekasamba who ordered the arrest of the duo, one of the suspects is a female staff working was as an aide at Masaka Immigration Office and a male, who was serving as an officer attached to the same office.
The duo has since been taken to court and remanded for forgery of stamps and signatures for the RDCs and District internal security officers (DISOs) for the respective districts which they used to append on the documents before presenting them to the passport office in Mbarara Town.
Mr Sekasamba said the duo was found in possession of forged stamps from the offices of different RDCs and DISOs from the five districts before they were arrested.
“We have been following them for the last two years and complainants from people kept on coming to us that they were stamping and signing documents which would have been stamped and signed by RDCs and DISOs,” Sekasamba said in interview on Friday.
“I was shocked to find my signature appended on documents purportedly signed by me when I had not seen them before,” he added.
Although the motive of the duo to forge both stamps and signatures of the top security officials for the five districts has not been established, there is fear that the suspects intended to aid “They have also been demanding for huge sums of money from the applicants who seemed to be ignorant about the process of acquiring passports,” Sekasamba said.
The offices of the RDC and DISO, according to Mr Sekasamba, are not authorized to demand for money from the people who want to get stamps and signatures for documents which are presented before one gets a passport.
“The victims in this category may have their passports cancelled so that they follow the right procedure to get valid travel documents,” he said.
He wondered why people could travel from other districts as far as Mukono and Wakiso to go and apply for passports in Masaka yet there are migration offices in Kampala which is nearer.criminals to travel in and outside the country without following proper channels.