Botswana: Ministry Suspends Omang Services Services

Gaborone — Application for Omang (Identity card) and related services will be suspended until further notice.

Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Ms Anna Mokgethi made an announcement during a press briefing on Tuesday, explaining that services such as application for new Omang cards and the renewal of expired ones would not be processed until further notice.

"We have noticed that customers tend to crowd and ignore the markings that are meant to help them observe social distancing, and this poses a serious health threat, hence my ministry, in liaison with COVID-19 Task Team, has decided to suspend Omang services until further notice," she said. She indicated that on Monday, the ministry registered a total of 1 727 people who came to seek Omang services countrywide, saying such an influx was high and it might be a challenge for the office to focus on the COVD-19 pandemic preventative measures.

Ms Mokgethi noted that the practice posed as a health threat to both the public and public servants who are to administer the services.

The minister noted that all the expired Omang cards would be treated as valid so that people are not denied services that require the use of such.

Ms Mokgethi further clarified that all those who had already submitted their applications were allowed to collect their Omang cards from where they had applied.

Meanwhile, Ms Mokgethi advised that people could also use other forms of identification such as passports, driver's license and birth certificates, should the need arise. She noted that some students studying outside the country would be assisted accordingly so that they return to their areas of study.

"Some special dispensations for some students studying outside the country have been put in place; those students will be allowed to cross the borders." She added.

Ms Mokgethi further allayed fears that the suspension of services could create backlog, saying the ministry had devised some strategies to use once the Omang services commence.

Source : BOPA

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