By Freeman Razemba
The Immigration Department has said it will remain resolute and steadfast when discharging its duties, despite reports by some disgruntled former officers who have gone on a crusade alleging that the department’s senior management are taking bribes and sexually harassing female workers.
The department said a group of errant and disgruntled former officers led by Nkosana Mtunzi, who were masquerading as suspended employees and making such allegations, were fired through normal procedures for engaging in corrupt activities.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Wednesday, Principal Director Immigration Mr Clemence Masango said they would not be blackmailed and intimidated.
“I would like to reiterate that we will remain resolutely steadfast, he said. No amount of blackmail or smear campaign will derail us from our mandate. We will not be intimidated by paper tigers.”
Mr Masango said the current management had been at the helm of the department since 2007, with a clear mandate to restructure and fight corruption which had plagued the department, especially between 2004 and 2007.
“I believe we have made an impact in fighting corruption, a development which is raising the ire of kingpins of the old era like Nkosana Mtunzi who all along had been doing as they pleased, including engaging in underhand dealings, to the detriment of both the department and the country at large, he said.
“Of course, I am aware that in the process we were bound to create enemies, the diehards bent on maintaining their own old way of doing business. I have no regrets and no one to apologise to for having done my work which I am happy to continue to do.”
Mr Masango said the claim by the former employees that they were still with the department were false and that there was no entity called Immigration Workers’ Representative.
He said Mtunzi in 2010 fraudulently issued status to foreigners before he was charged for the misconduct and reprimanded.
Mtunzi was later re-deployed to Nyamapanda Border Post and he refused to be deployed since 2010.
He took the department to court on several occasions and had not been reporting for work.
The department’s deputy director administration Mr Stephen Museki said the other former employees were fired for allowing undeserving foreigners into the country, producing fake business viability assessments and short changing foreigners at ports of entry, incidences which were detected on CCTV.
The fired workers are Peter Kufakunesu Chirume, Aaron Togarepi, Robert Williams, Sheilla Moyo, Emily Nyadziso Mupeti and Lydpa Munhanga.
Mr Museki said the department had been on a crusade to fight corruption without fear or favour and this explained the reactions by the former employees who had been involved in underhand dealings.
“We have no intention to give up the fight and we have been further strengthened in our resolve by the rallying voice of the new dispensation against corruption,” he said.
Mr Museki said strategies that had so far been devised by management to plug out financial leakages had resulted in a sharp rise in revenue collections on behalf of the Treasury.