Well I thought I would never have had to go here but alas my visa was going to expire and I needed to get an extension, so because I was in Cameroon I thought the process was going to be "simple" enough to get another 90 day visa extension. My driver was luckily with me to assist on where to go and who to go and see.
Now I handed out a small amount of money on this day but none of it was going to the government, all the money was bribe money to get my visa sent through or processed much quicker. Faso took my passport and the only time I saw him was when he needed 5000 CFA or 10 000 CFA to bribe some policeman. I must say that I was pretty worried about my passport vanishing and I was no where near it.
I do however feel sorry for the locals and yes I am to blame here as well. You see I was standing behind a police lady who would do the initial processing of the passport and visa's and what I was witnessing was ... shocking. You see, a local's papers would come in for processing and she would open the passport or documentation and flip through it and because there was no money in it she would stack it on a pile of papers in the corner of her desk. A "visitor's" papers like my own would arrive at her desk with 5000 CFA or 10 000 CFA in the passport or documents and not even trying to hide it and in full view of everyone she would take the money out of the documentation and put it in her pocket and she would do the initial processing. I stopped counting at about 100 000 CFA (approximately $100)
It was an interesting day I can tell you ... oh and I only got 1 extra day on my visa, the money spent would have gotten me an extra 90 days if I had done the visa application in South Africa.
Some photo's I managed to take while I was there.
The waiting room if you are a local or with no money to bribe an official
The processing room ... well the one I was in when my passport left my hands, I tried to get a photo of the police lady pocketing the money but eyes were on me all the time and as we know, photo's are a big no no here.
uhmmm ... old files are stored or at least one of the places. Wonder if anyone's passport documentation is still among all those files somewhere?
Now, if you apply for a passport, they will tell you to come back every now and then to see if it is ready, the way you find out if it has arrived is you look on those pieces of paper on the wall and if you find your name, your passport is there. Reminds me of the day when we went to go look for our Matric results at the school.
Just in case you don't have a passport photo or you need some photo copies, the side stalls where you can get all of this done.