DA-ES-SALAAM, Holders of Tanzanian diplomatic and service passports who are no longer in public service have been given one month to surrender the travel documents to the Immigration Department or risk being blocked at the country's entry and exit points when travelling.

"It should be noted ... that keeping hold of the documents for those who are no longer eligible is contrary to Section 19(2) (k) of Tanzania Passports and other Travel documents Act of 2002 and its Regulations of 2004, the department said in a statement Tuesday.

The law is clear that a service or diplomatic passport shall be surrendered to the Director of Immigration Department upon the holder ceasing to hold office.

There are, however, provisions in the law which allow some leaders to retain the travel documents after retiring. These include retired leaders such as presidents, the president of the revolutionary government of Zanzibar, vice-presidents, prime ministers and chief ministers.

According to the legislation, the list of other leaders who are allowed to retain the passports after retirement include former Speakers of the National Assembly and of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, Deputy Speakers, chief justices, chief secretaries to the government and attorney-generals.

The privilege also extends to former chiefs of defence forces, inspector-general of police, commissioner-general of prison services, director of the Tanzania Intelligence and Security Services and Director of Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, among other few selected leaders.

The Immigration Department in Tanzania issues seven categories of travel documents -- ordinary, service, diplomatic, emergency Continued from Page 1 travel document, certificate of identity, Geneva Convention Travel Document and the East Africa passports.

Ordinary passports are issued to citizens of Tanzania wishing to travel out of the country while East Africa passports are issued to Tanzanians intending to travel within the East African Community (EAC). Emergency travel documents are for those travelling on emergency or Tanzanians stranded abroad and cannot be issued with passports.

Certificates of identity are issued to persons who are not citizens of Tanzania and cannot obtain a passport from his/her country or does not have citizenship of any country for the purpose of travelling outside Tanzania while the Geneva convention travel documents are issued to refugees seeking asylum in Tanzania.

The diplomatic and service passports are issued to serving and selected retired public leaders and servants. Among others, the service passport covers regional commissioners, regional administrative officers, district commissioners, registrar of court of appeal or high court, director of public prosecution and chief parliamentary draftsman, among others.