Government has cleared a K7.1 billion debt it owed the supplier of booklets and other materials used in the production of passports, Technobrain Limited.
The debt forced the company to suspend supply of materials to the Immigration Department. It also led to the slowdown in the production and issuance of passports at the Immigration Department between January and March 2016.
Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development spokesperson, Nations Msowoya told The Nation in an interview on Monday that government has now cleared all the debt.
“We don’t owe Technobrain anything now. The company has since resumed normal supply to the Immigration Department,” said Msowoya.
He also disclosed that Treasury has released funding to various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including the Immigration Department, to allow them procure various goods and services thereby improving service delivery in the MDAs.
Immigration Department deputy spokesperson Wellington Chiponde confirmed the development, saying this has also helped them decentralise production of passports to other districts.
Chiponde dismissed reports that the department has suspended issuance of passports due to lack of resources.
“We’ve decentralised the production of passports; and, this has resulted in few people queuing at our headquarters in Blantyre,” he said, adding the department has adequate supply of materials to meet the existing demand of travel documents.