Immigration officers should refrain from corrupt practices: Mini

WINDHOEK: The Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration has called on Immigration officials to refrain from corrupt practices such as bribery, as this will tarnish the country’s name.

Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said this when she officially opened a six-week basic training course for 43 newly-recruited Immigration officials in the capital on Thursday.

“As border officials, you will be exposed to all kinds of people, including those who will try to test your commitment and honesty. They will offer you gifts with a view to compromising your decision-making process. Let me warn you against such people,” she noted.

Iivula-Ithana thus warned the new recruits not to place temporary gains before long-term gains.

Border officials perform a function which is central to the security of the country, including making decisions to allow or not to allow entry to travellers, of whom some have good intentions while others not.

Immigration officials, therefore, need to share information with all stakeholders such as Police and Customs officials so that the country’s efforts to combat the violation of the ports of entry are enhanced, stressed the minister.

Iivula-Ithana said the number of immigrants, both regular and irregular, continues to grow, and no country is immune to this phenomena, including Namibia. Such movements thus bring challenges, which will require new approaches in the way migration is managed today.

“The link between migration and development justifies a softer approach to migrants on one hand, while the link between migration and transnational organised crime such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling justifies continued vigilance by border officials.

This thus calls for striking the right balance between the control of migrants entering Namibia’s territory, and the facilitation of business travellers which the country dearly needs,” she said.

This fact has been realised, and all countries are now looking for best responses to address the challenges from migration in a manner which allows them to maximize the benefits, which are skills’ transfer and mobility of financial resources, while at the same time finding ways of striking the balance.

“This balance can only be realised if the officers dealing with migration are trained to take this challenge,” she stressed.

Iivula-Ithana, therefore, urged the new recruits to take the training seriously so as to be able to gain the knowledge which will assist them in the future execution of their duties.

The course will cover areas such as the duties and functions of an Immigration officer; statement-taking; migration management; an introduction to travel documents; the Immigration Control Act; the Citizenship Act; the Public Service Act; the interpretation of statutes; the law of the sea; security of information; and the treatment of tourists.