The Immigration Department has finally suspended Philip Joe who demanded a K20 000 ($40) bribe from the Weekend Nation crew, which was running a month-long undercover investigation into corrupt practices at the department.
Chief immigration officer Hudson Mankhwala refused to comment Thursday, accusing Nation Publications Limited (NPL) of harbouring sinister motives against his administration.
But Joe confirmed his interdiction in a telephone interview on Thursday that he is currently at home awaiting his fate following internal investigations authorities have since instituted at the department.
“Of course, it is true, but I would not want to comment further.
“I am at home as I’m talking to you now,” he said.
Our month-long investigation established that immigration officers deliberately delay processing passports of poor applicants until the applicants dig deeper into their pockets to facilitate the quicker printing of the documents.
It was also discovered that in the absence of intermediaries—dobadobas who were largely blamed for facilitating corrupt practices—security guards were acting as linkpersons between officers and applicants who would be interested to bribe their way through the process.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) said last week it was in consultation with the Immigration Department on the alleged corrupt practices at the department.
In an e-mailed 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 action they have taken to address the problem.