Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia has said Malawi will push for extradition of Nigerian who used a Malawian passport under the name of Victor Banda so that he can be prosecuted in ‘Passportgate’ scandal.
Mzimba West member of parliament Harry Mkandawire (People’s Party –PP) on Thursday exposed a passport syndicate in the National Assembly when he disclosed that a box of 250 blank Malawian passports got lost in December last year.
Mkandawire told the House taht the missing serial numbers of the books were from MW853501 to 853750 and it was later discovered that one of the missing passports was issued to a Nigerian who posed as a Malawians from Mangochi with passport number MW853507.
“The Nigerian used the name Vincent Banda from Mangochi, meaning that 249 passports are still out there. Banda was arrested in South Africa en-route to UK, he was smuggling some goods,” Mkandawire told the House.
Chiumia told parliament that a team from her ministry are going to South Africa to meet the Nigerian “and get more information on the matter.”
She disclosed that they are working on a process to “ bring Mr Banda back.”
Chiumia added: “We are doing all necessary arrangements on the matter and let us be patient as we are working tirelessly on matter .”
Ther Minister said the Nigerian arrest at South African airport was based on the passport.
“We have notified immigration offices in all the countries about these serial numbers. So, he was arrested because of the passport and that is why they gave information to this country,” she said
Commenting on the matter, Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya saif the ‘passportgate’ is a “serious matter” which should be handled in that order.
“The matter happened on 29th December, 2016. The passport was issued in January, 2017 and there could be many passports that have been issued between December, 2016 and to-date.,” said Msowoya.
In her attempt to defend government on the matter, Chiumia repeatedly stated that she would make a ministerial statement in which the racket would be addressed.
She also attempted to gag MPs by threatening that she had more information about their underhand dealings which she was willing to expose. However, this did not stop the lawmakers from accusing her ministry of being party to the racket.
Meanwhile, Mkandawire has proposed that the parliamentary committees on Defence and Security and of Government Assurances— which he chairs—should investigate the matter because the government cannot be trusted with the task “since it seems to be party to the racket”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :