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Immigration chief warns officers against corruption

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MEDI—Our services are free-of-charge

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services has warned its officers against engaging in corruption saying the vice dents the department’s image.

Chief Immigration Officer, Masauko Medi, regretted that the vice among some few officers was denting the reputation of the department.

Medi said the institution has never been summoned to answer cases of corporate crimes, but some selfish individuals in the system perpetrate the malpractice.

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“It is only individual officers who have answered cases of corruption. So, can they desist from element of corruption? Why should we be corrupt when we are providing a national service? We are losing our dignity because of the conduct of few officers that are selfish,” he said.

He said Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) recently rated the institution highly on corruption; hence, the need for the officers to desist from such malpractice.

“Our services are free-of-charge, and the current system that we are putting up will never print any document to a person before the first person. The system is now first come, first save,” he said.

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Executive Director for Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency, Willy Kambwandira, said the only way to root out corruption at the Immigration Department was to bring its services closer to the people in the communities and increase transparency on how the department operates.

“The current system of processing Malawian passports, for instance, creates fertile grounds for bribes and corruption. It is high time the government brought these services close to communities to do away with middlemen,” he said.

A survey which ACB and National Statistical Office conducted revealed that 54 to 67 percent of service users perceive corruption levels as high at the Department of Immigration and Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services.

The revelation was made in 2019 in an Integrity Assessment Report after a survey was carried out at the two public institutions.

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