TheDepartment of Immigration has started forcing hundreds of Malawi passport applicants to contribute to its welfare fund.
The purpose of the welfare fund is not known but the mere fact that hundreds of people throng this office daily suffices to conclude that the welfare fund is already brimming with hundreds of thousands if not millions of Malawi kwacha.
Sources at the Immigration department said a few weeks ago, senior officers from the office decreed that they will no longer accept passport size photos from private providers.
Instead they procured their own camerasand printers and are doing the photographing themselves and are charging applicant MK1,000 for a pair of photos.
Ironically, applicants are given a general Malawi government receipt saying the money is for the department’s welfare fund.
“It is true this money is yet to go through the NBS Bank enroute to Malawi government account number one because our management is still in discussions with NBS Bank management,” an Officer told NyasaTimes on condition of anonymity.
The officer, who is not allowed to talk to the media, said the department’s decision was made to flush out ‘Dobasdobas’ who he said have been embroiled in numerous allegations of theft of clients’ monies.
“Previously we would give clients forms and ask them to get passport photos elsewhere. This we realized was a mistake because we inherently made the ‘Dobasdobas’ an extension of our department hence they operated with impunity. We carried the burden of their vices,” the senior officer said.
When contacted for comment, the department’s spokesman Joseph Chauwa asked for more time but could not pick further call from NyasaTimes.