Malawi Immigration Department should be independent – MP Lunguzi

Opposition lawmaker Juliana Lunguzi has suggested that government should let the Immigration Department of the Home Affairs and Internal Security Ministry to be an independent body like Malawi Reveneu Authority (MRA).

Lungzi:  Seeks independence for Immigration Department

Lungzi: Seeks independence for Immigration Department

Lunguzi, who is Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislature for Dedza East said in parliament  that if the Immigration Department is made a independent, “they have the capacity to mobilize more resources.  “

She said: “So, as it is in the coming year, we are giving them K1.1 billion yet this is an institution that has the capacity to collect more than K6 billion in a year. If given more resources, they can even double the revenue which, as a country, we are struggling to have.”

Added Lunguzi: “We should listen to the Immigration Department and make it an independent institution just like MRA. If you can agree, the percentage of the revenue they can remit to Account No. 1 will enable them to effectively operate and generate more resources for the country, which we desperately need.  If we give them less, they will not be able to function optimally.  “

Supporting the calls for the independence of the Immigration Department, MCP member of parliament for Kasungu East, Madalitso Kazombo noted that department is able to generate enough resources and operate efficiently, but because whatever they collect is given to Account No. 1 then they still face a lot of challenges.

“For instance, the whole Northern Region has got one vehicle for operations. With the poor roads that are in the north and the terrain we have, the department needs at least good 4 x 4 vehicles,” Kazombo said.

“Housing is another challenge at the Immigration Department; out of 650 officers they only have 59 houses.  This is terrible after 50 years of independence, if Kamuzu rises today I do not think he will be happy, so 650 officers with only 59 houses?” said Kazombo, a relation to founding president Kamuzu Banda.

He also said Immigration Department should be equipped with modern technology.

“There are only three places that have got computers at the department in the country: that is Blantyre in Chileka and Kamuzu International Airport and yet this department is crucial and needs to be computerised,” he said.

Government , through Minister  of Lands Atupele Muluzi, standing-in for Home Affairs Minister Jappie Mhango,  conceded that  the potential for revenue generation is great with Immigration.

“It is therefore, possible for the Immigration Department to generate additional revenue and the matter is under discussion with Treasury,” Muluzi said.

“ They are specifically providing a provision for the Immigration Department to return a certain amount from what they are generating.  So certainly this is something that is under discussion between Immigration Department and the Ministry of Finance,” added Muluzi.

Press reports also indicate Immigration Department in the Northern Region has been forced to start issuing provisional travel documents to clients applying for passports due to a shortage of passport books which has hit the office for a long period .


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14 thoughts on “Malawi Immigration Department should be independent – MP Lunguzi”

  1. miscer says:

    Gonani…FBI and CIA do not generate revenue.They get their funding from USA government and thats not being independent. Here we are talking a scenario where they should generate revenue and be independent in their operations without depending on goverment funding.Man you are missing the point.

  2. mjiba says:

    Juliana, on this one you are off pitch. The Immigration is already an independent institution of Malawi Government having been delinked from the Malawi Police Servic. The main focus of the Immigration department is not revenue collection and should not be made to be. The main focus of immigration is facilitating free movement of people, issuing travel permits and promoting socio-security by among other things ensuring the integrity of our borders at land, sea and air ports. Your contributions for the improvement of the immigration should be based along the lines of border control management and socio security of the country and not wholly on revenue. The revenue that the Immigration collects is for issuance of travel,work permits and not for running of a country. If you want to increase revenue in Malawi deal with MRA do not create a duplicate MRA out of Immigration department. For your own information the MRA collects enough revenue to rid Malawi of most its evils but how and where that money is used you Parliamentarians do not follow and take those responsible to task. This should be the focus of your contributions.

  3. Nabetha says:

    Typical of a Malawian parliament, always discussing issues that will destroy the already poorly managed country. It is very surprising that this suggestion is coming from a member of parliament, very embarrassing in fact.. I did my civics subject in standard 6 some 20years ago when I was just 11years old and it is from there that I learnt that some government departments can never be independent, one of such department is immigration. It is only recently that I also came to learn that the Malawian Immigration Department is being used as a revenue generating institution rather than controlling and regulating the movement of people coming in and out of the country. The funds collected by this department are for administration costs ONLY, that is also why it is very unwise for this department to charge more fees on its services simply because they want to make profits.

  4. ManoRo says:

    To me the immigration department is not a revenue collector, rather it is a security provider to the nation. As a security provider, there no way a country with a goodwill can make such an institution independent. Let me also say something to this MP, Lunguzi. Malawians expected to see a difference from you among your fellow politicians. But we are disappointed!

  5. chihuahua says:

    Chemwali lunguzi ndiyasagwira kuti immigration ikhale yodzimila pa yokha? due to security threats the world is going through maka malawi pa ma threats malawi in the world in HIGH WARNING, Now these days people are corrupt so as our immigration officers hence can make it porous by being independent… mukayang`ana maiko amene immigration ili payonkha mupeza kuli corrupt free…. nde isakhale independe if this is so nde muyike MBC/TV Independe muone…. its just the same

  6. Racist McTumbukaFace says:

    Apparently I overrated this MP.

  7. CWN says:

    Dear MP, you are making dangerous suggestions. You will do well to seek for advise and see how other successful countries do things in terms of immigration governance. Immigration department as independent body is certainly a turn in the wrong direction. Dear MP research to find out why and some comments here will give you a good idea!!!

  8. Chambe says:

    MRA is not independent; it is somehow effective in collecting revenue.Immigration department’s job should not be focused to collecting revenue as cited by the MP. There is Security, special holding prison for illegal immigrants,looking at the Act and correcting areas where there are loopholes especially on work permits, resident permits etc. If the focus is now on revenue generation, the all the other issues will be compromised.

  9. miscer says:

    Immigration can not be independent bcoz it is one of the security department of the government. NO where in the world is this department independent.Those who are advocating this shows that they are iginorant and dont even know how immigration works.proper research is needed. Aphungu enawa ndi mbulitu. Ine ndi wa MCP koma sindingatenge za mayi Lunguzi thats no sense.

    1. GONANI says:

      MISCER, Do you know that FBI and CIA are independent entities? However they are the most effective American tools for fighting all kinds of threat USA could face. Think man!

  10. Concerned citizen says:

    The best way to deal with the problem of money is technology.Majority of people in Malawi have a mobile phone with Internet access on it. Other countries in Africa have embraced technology in their Passport issuing and payments. If they can make sure that all payments are done online or else use the post office for people to make payments through postal orders, it will give them room that they will be less people at their offices. On the housing issue, our government should encourage it’s employees to own their own houses, so grants should be in place for long serving servants. The government can negotiate with banks to find the best rate for employees to be able to acquire mortgages. I remember a long time ago whe my mother bought a house through her company and they were deducting it from her monthly salary. This will also make people more motivated to stay in with the department. The problem of Account number 1 is that all money is controlled by one person, it’s like a husband or wife who tells his wife or her husband to bring all the money she/he’s been paid to him and give her less to spend. Our government should not take or the but money but create a tax like system with it’s own departments so that the pay a certain amount to ACC #1 each quarterly or yearly. That way the department will always have cash at hand to deal with it’s day to day activities. When they break even they should be allowed to invest their own money into business outside Malawi.( Botswana is doing the same thing and it is working for them) it may seem crazy but if they allow that for most cash generating departments, soon the country will have enough to make up for the full budget.

  11. Muhele Thuwa says:

    Miss Lunguzi do proper research on Government issues before commenting. Where in the world is Immigration Department independent is independent of central/federal government. Listen to America campaign on immigration and also one of the reasons Britain opted for exiting EU is about immigration. You comment on everything issue in parliament. You are not a jack of all trades.Leave experts/professionals in other fields to comment wisely and sensibly. Concentrate on nursing issues that you have technical ability.

    1. Thoko says:

      apeze kaye banja

  12. Gogodasi says:

    Lunguzu speaks sense, but I don’t agree with her suggestion that Immigration should be an independent body. If the problem is management you have the capacity as an MP to force government to change management. The issue should not hinge on revenue collection, but rather regulating it. Government is better placed to regulate Immigration than to let it be independent like MRA which will be subject to abuse by politicians.

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