The initial forecast was that biometric passports could be issued as from Monday to Mozambican citizens – but the quality of the first passports produced by Semlex was so poor that the government has demanded improvements.
The deputy national director of immigration, Leonardo Boby, told “Noticias” that the passports produced by Semlex contained serious defects which had to be corrected before they could go into mass production.
There were spelling mistakes, Boby said, and the model used by Semlex did not provide enough space to write the names of Mozambican passport holders. Semlex had not bothered to familiarize itself with Mozambican names, and seemed not to realize that many citizens have names containing four or more words.
To take just the most well-known example, the full name of the leader of the Mozambican opposition is “Afonso Marcacho Marceta Dhlakama” – which is too long to fit in the space allocated by Semlex. According to Boby just three words will fit in the space.
In some cases, the names would run onto the space provided for the passport photograph, which is not acceptable.
On a passport, no name should be abbreviated, and so Semlex has been told to redesign the passport so that even citizens who use six or seven words in their names can fit them all in.
Boby added that the Semlex passports contained insufficient security features, and the company had bungled the images of Mozambican wildlife used.