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Anti-Corruption Bureau gains ground on immigration probe

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Martha Chizuma

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has said investigations into recruitment of personnel at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services where some top government officials allegedly bull-dozed their relatives and unqualified people are at an advanced stage.

A memo dated April 13, 2018 signed by Assistant Human Resources Management Officer (AHRMO) George Zimba alleged that out of the 206 Immigration assistants that were inserted in the Human Resources Management Information Systems (HRMIS), only 78 officers met the employment requirements while 128 failed to meet stipulated requirements listed.

The memo further alleged that some of the officers recruited were not within the stipulated age bracket of 18 to 25 years.

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It is also alleged that majority of officers that were recruited were relations of senior officials at the department of immigration.

ACB Director General Martha Chizuma confirmed that they have made progress into the matter.

“We are at an advanced stage with the investigation and will soon be able to inform the public,” she said.

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Malawi News has also established that top officials at the department during that time abused their powers by influencing recruitment of their siblings without interviews, replacing those that had attended interviews and passed.

The 128 Immigration assistants were sent for training and later put on payroll.

Chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition Gift Trapence has since commended the graft busting body for swiftly intervening on the matter.

“We commend ACB for swift investigation on this case. It is encouraging to see a more proactive ACB in concluding investigations. This is what Malawians have been looking for,” Trapence said.

The revelations come at a time the Department of Immigration has been making headlines over alleged dubious deals.

In November, 2019 Public Appointment Committee (Pac) of Parliament summoned the former Principal Secretary in the Department of Human Resources Management and Development Hillary Chimota over concerns of nepotism, lack of employment and wrong procedures of recruitment.

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