The Directorate of Citizens and Immigration Control has asked former Ministers and Members of Parliament to return the official and diplomatic passports. Without revealing names, Jacob Siminyu, the Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson said several former ministers and MPs are illegally holding diplomatic and official passports yet they lost such statuses.
Siminyu explains that an MP acquires an official passport only when he or she is still a serving legislator. The same applies to ministers with diplomatic passports that are only valid as long as they are still in the cabinet.
“Official and diplomatic passports are acquired because of the status you are currently holding. They are given to you because of the status. If you are a minister you get diplomatic and MPs get an official passport. If you lose the commissioner status you get the ordinary. You are instructed to return and get the one that matches your ordinary status,” Siminyu explains.
Siminyu further says that a number of former MPs, ministers, retired commissioners, ex-Permanent Secretaries, directors raise flimsy excuses whenever they are reminded to return the ‘VIP’ passports.
At least 38 ministers were dropped in the new cabinet in June last year. In addition, more than 200 MPs lost their seats in the January 14 parliamentary elections. It is reported that former ministers and MPs from the ninth and 10th parliament are still holding VIP passports and often come up with excuses when renewing their expired travel documents.
The MPs passport is green in color while Ministers and Ambassadors as well as their family members get diplomatic passports. But once one loses such a title, he or she must get an ordinary passport which is blue in colour.
“Do not attempt to explain when you lose the status. Please return these passports. It is not your personal document. It is a government document given to you for the status you have and you must not keep it once you have lost that status,” Siminyu adds.
Ex-ministers and MPs who have adamantly refused to return diplomatic and official passports risk being embarrassed as they might be forcefully removed from them. DCIC advises such people to voluntarily return such passports.