The crime-busting Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) yesterday pounced on former chief immigration officer Hudson Mankhwala, arresting him over passports which were allegedly issued irregularly to non-Malawians recently.
ACB senior public relations officer Egrita Ndala confirmed to The Nation yesterday evening that Mankhwala briefly appeared in the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court, where he was slapped with two charges.
The first charge was neglect of official duty, contrary to Section 121 of the Penal Code, while the second was abuse of office contrary to Section 25B of the Corrupt Practices Act.
Ndala said Mankhwala has since been granted bail.
However, she said she is yet to see the bail conditions as well as to know full details of the case.
The case is likely to give indicators over how refugees and some other non-Malawians were able to secure Malawian passports which—on paper—put applicants on the microscope to prove that they are indigenous citizens.
It has been an open secret that Immigration Department officials, particularly in the passport section, receive bribes to process passports for non-Malawians. The irregularities apparently have been going on for years and have led the once-respected Malawian passport to being over-scrutinised in some western nations.