Ngaka explains validity of certified copies.
Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs minister, Mr Ngaka Ngaka says certified copies are valid until the expiry date of the original document.
Addressing a press conference on recently, Mr Ngaka said he found it necessary to call a press conference, following a public notice that was recently made by his ministry on the matter, to clarify and emphasis the issue, as there seemed to be some confusion within the public.
Contrary to the norm that three months old certified copies were invalid, Mr Ngaka stressed that 'certified copies of Botswana passport, residence permit, National Identity Card (Omang), exemption certificate and visa are valid until the expiry date of the original documents.
This, Mr Ngaka said applied to other documents issued by the ministry such as birth, death and marriage certificates, authorisation of change of name, certificate of registration of societies and citizenship certificates.
Documents, he said, could be certified by any commissioner of oaths, noting that certified documents were just as important as originals.
Where an individual is required to produce an original document for any reason after submitting certified copy, the minister advised the public to abide.
'There is no law that hinders people from using three months old certified copies of their original documents.
This confusion has resulted in the ministry experiencing an influx of people who queue up at our various offices to certify copies.
Therefore, this is going to help reduce congestion of people seeking to certify copies,' he added.
Meanwhile, the minister encouraged citizens to collect their Omang cards, saying there were currently more than 25 000 uncollected cards to date.
In an effort to encourage people to collect their Omang, he said his ministry uses SMSs to notify applicants when their cards are ready for collection.