Govt shifts 14 top immigration officers for over stay

20Mar 2016
Grace Kambaulaya
Guardian On Sunday
Govt shifts 14 top immigration officers for over stay

The government yesterday announced transfers of 14 senior immigration officers in what it described as a move to increase efficiency and enhance security at border posts.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Charles Kitwanga

The officers were shifted from some regions to others after it was established they had over stayed their routine terms.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Charles Kitwanga, said the step marked the start of reforms that would involve transfers of more than 200 officers in the Immigration Division nationwide.

Last year, the government posted various key immigration officers mainly from the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam and the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) to other stations elsewhere in the country. They also involved immigration officers in the passport control, finance and ICT (information and communications technology) sections.

The reforms also saw the sacking of officials responsible for issuing resident permits, amid allegations of corruption.

Describing the immigration department as one of the most crucial in terms of maintaining national security, the minister said more changes were underway, but they were calling for sober planning to avoid claims of victimization and favoritism.

Citing recent research findings revealing bribery-related incidents to account for 30 per cent of the Immigration Division’s problems, Minister Kitwanga urged immigration department personnel to adhere to working ethics and respect the laws of the land.

He warned against temptations of taking bribes and engaging in other malpractices like aiding illegal migrants and drug smugglers.

He mentioned other challenges facing the department as per the research findings as poor performance that accounts for 20 per cent of the problems, abuse of office, 20 per cent, poor working systems, lack of equipment and poor services that jointly contribute to another 20 per cent of what he described as chronic hitches in the department.