Weeks after Cameroonian authorities rolled out a new procedure for the production of passports, citizens still face challenges in acquiring the document.
Scores of Cameroonians living abroad have reached out to Mimi Mefo Info to complain about the delays in shipping passports to their owners.
The country’s ministry of external relations is at the center of the delays in mailing passports.
Although the passports are now produced between two and three days, they take months to get to their destinations.
A Cameroonian living and working abroad reached out to MMI to register their frustrations.
“I was on vacation when my bag containing my passport got stolen. Since Cameroonian embassies and consulates are not in every country, I managed to make it to a near-by country with a pass given to me by the police. I rushed to the consulate and applied for a New Passport August 28, 2021,” the Cameroonian said.
The concerned Cameroonian speaks on: “After following all the procedure online, I booked my appointment for fingerprint. After giving my fingerprints, the lady at the consulate asked me to wait for two weeks.
“After the two-week wait, I called the embassy and they said my passport according to the PassCam system was produced 3 days after application and is on transit to them.
“I waited for another week but could not hold my patience as I was being called to return to work or risk losing my job.
“I went back to the consulate and the Consul couldn’t help much. She was really nice and felt pity for me.
“I sent my younger brother with my receipt to PassCam and he was told that my passport had been produced and sent to the Ministry of External Relations who are in charge of delivering it to the consulate abroad and it normally takes a maximum of two weeks.
“PassCam was really in big shock that a passport produced about four weeks ago hasn’t been delivered to the consulate.
“My younger brother then went to the Ministry of External Relations and after being disrespected, the woman told him that it had been sent.
“He said he encountered a lady at the Ministry who spent time flipping papers and talking in her local vanecular and only responded to him when he stood his grounds.
“The public number of the Ministry of External Relations is on their verified page. I called last week to make my inquiry and the lady at the reception is not even aware that it’s the Ministry of External Relations who sends passport abroad .
“After trying to complain to her how it’s being done, she boldly said that she has her problem at home and I shouldn’t disturb her even though I was calling from abroad.”
The story explained by this Cameroonian, whose identity we’re concealing for fear of reprisals, is similar to those of many others.
Over a month after the production of their passport, this Cameroonian is stock abroad with no papers, waiting for their passport to return to work.
Despite the number of times they have called the Consulate and Ministry of External Relations,
nothing has been done.
The question is, what kind of courier takes one month to be delivered?
PassCam claims this passport was produced and sent 3 days after application on August 28. So does it mean that the Ministry of External Relations takes one month to send documents abroad to countries having direct flights and even 3 days maximum on courier?
“It is so sad how our officials make us suffer especially regarding issues that can and should be easily handled,” another Cameroonian trapped in the diaspora says.
“If tomorrow we go in front of the consulate and stage a protest to create awareness regarding our plight, would we be blamed for our attitude?” He says.
“A process that has to normally take 14 days has kept us in a foreign country, stock in a hotel with no pappers and about to lose our jobs for 32 days and counting. This is sad.”