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Mangochi Immigration opts for e-services

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By Yohane Symon:

Masauko Medi

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services has said plans are at an advanced stage to introduce electronic payment and issuance of visas, passports and related documents at its newly-opened Mangochi Eastern Region Offices before launching the same in other facilities.

Director General of Immigration Services, Masauko Medi, has since asked officers and community members to join hands in protecting national documents from foreigners.

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Medi said, following reforms, the department has embarked on the electronic visa, permits and e-passport so as to help non-Malawians residing in other countries or areas not serviced by the department obtain these documents.

At Mangochi offices, counters have been erected and installations made in readiness for electronic operations which, among other things, will increase non-taxable revenue collected by the department.

“Very soon, we are migrating to e-passports and Mangochi will be among the offices piloting such services. We have also embarked on integrated border control knowing that Mangochi is one of the border districts which require our attention,” Medi said.

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He, however, dismissed fears that launching the e-payments for passports, visa and citizenship permits would make the documents susceptible to forgery, saying the department is putting in place security measures.

Medi added that the department would not tolerate immigration officers who would be caught engaging in malpractices meant to compromise quality of documents and services the department offers.

Eastern Region Immigration Officer, Vivian Kasambo, said Mangochi Passport Office has printed over 3,000 passports in the past three months despite that the facility is yet to be launched officially.

Kasambo also said the printing of passports in Mangochi has reduced cases of human trafficking as people have been sensitised to the dangers of travelling without proper documentation.

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