The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has said it is consulting the Immigration Department on the alleged corrupt practices at the department that were exposed through our month-long undercover investigation.
Two weeks ago, Weekend Nation carried a story in which we revealed that the Immigration Department’s officer, Phillip Joe, demanded a bribe of K15 000 ($32) for a quick processing of a passport.
ACB was aware of our investigations and in an e-mail response to a questionnaire, ACB senior public relations officer Egrita Ndala said “the bureau is not conducting investigations at the moment.”
She said according to the Immigration Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy, the Immigration Department is supposed to investigate alleged malpractices and report to the bureau what action they have taken to address the problem.
“The bureau will, therefore ,wait for them to do that internal investigation and give it the findings so that it can determine the next course of action,” she said.
Ndala said the bureau is working with the department to ensure that there are proper ways of preventing corrupt practices in the processing of passports, thereby protecting the public from unscrupulous officers and/or impostors.
She said in the fight against corruption, prevention is a better option as it helps save public resources so that they are used for intended purpose; hence, protect the public from the untold suffering as a result of corruption.
Asked on what measures the bureau has put in place to protect Malawians from paying more than is required when accessing services, Ndala said the ACB is working with various government and private institutions to ensure that they take the prevention of corruption within institutions seriously.
“The bureau is continuing to inform and warn the masses against paying for services which are supposed to be offered for free or paying more than what is required.
“Members of the public should report any officer of the Immigration Department or any other department who solicits bribes to the head of the institution or the Anti-Corruption Bureau. They should resist anyone demanding bribes from them. It is the role of every Malawian to take part in the fight against corruption by not receiving or giving bribes,” she said.