By Serah Chilora
Malawi Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services Director General Masauko Medi has blamed society for the alleged corruption at the department.
Speaking on Times Television programme, dubbed Times Exclusive, which is expected to air this evening, Medi said, as a department, they are working with other government departments such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to ensure the services offered are free from corruption.
Medi made the remarks in relation to the intermediaries that loiter around the departments offices across the country.
“The issue of intermediaries, when you look at it critically, is actually society that is corrupt because society approaches the intermediaries and the chain goes on to the law enforcers. With these new passports, there are a lot of security features that will end the availability of intermediaries in our premises. Overall, we have launched so many measures that will help curb acts of corruption.
“As a department, we are working with other government departments such as the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB). Recently, ACB issued a perception survey which said there are some corruption practices that are happening at the Immigration but, as a department, we have an integrity community which mainly looks at issues of corruption,” he said.
Medi also made mention that the facility will have new security features that will enable a citizen to work directly with officers of the department.
Despite the general public commenting on the high fees one has to shoulder to obtain the e-passport, Medi said these days a passport is not a must to everyone.
“I know not all Malawians are well-to-do to afford a passport but, right now, not everyone needs a passport because, back in the day, it was used as a mode of identification but now if one needs a passport, then it means they want to travel.
“As government, we do not condone those that just randomly travel to neighbouring countries like South Africa for piecework. These new prices are simply for those that can afford and not those that feel they just want a passport and go to a foreign country without plans of what they intend to do while there,” 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 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.