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‘Zim a haven for illegal immigrants’

Source: Bulawayo News, 09/07/2019

In her 2018 annual report, Mrs Chiri said many illegal immigrants could be staying in the country without being pursued by the Immigration Department, which operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. “I noted that the Department of Immigration control did not maintain a database of all immigrants who visited and exited the country for the past 10 years. The compliance section maintains a manual system which makes it very difficult to trace the status of immigrants at any given time. “This means that the country could be having many undocumented and illegal foreigners who could be staying in the country without being pursued by relevant authorities. Regulation of immigrants may be difficult,” said Mrs Chiri. She said the department should make efforts, using available resources to maintain a database of all immigrants and responsible sections should do periodical checks on the status of immigrants. She said it was important for the department to monitor the movement of visitors who enter the country. In response, according to Mrs Chiri’s report, the immigration department said it does maintain database for all immigrants who have entered or left the country through major ports of entry and exit where there is a border management system. However, the Immigration Department added, in instances where immigrants enter the country through uncomputerised border posts the databases are manual. Mrs Chiri also expressed concern on the Registrar General’s Department, also under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage for failing to achieve its objectives and compromised service delivery. “The department failed to establish and upgrade e-government structures and systems in the department from 65 percent to 75 percent by December 31, 2018. These included installation of queue management system and bio-enrolment capturing booths and Automated Biometric Identification System stations (ABIS). “The department also completed only one out of five targeted district registry buildings by December 31, 2018,” said Mrs Chiri. In response, the department explained it failed to complete district registry buildings due to insufficient funds at Guruve and Murewa whereas in Kadoma and Goromonzi, the funds for the projects were released but there were delays by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing in compiling the bill of quantities. Mrs Chiri said she was concerned about how the budget was made without the bill of quantities, while the funds lost value due to inflation. She urged the department to endeavor to achieve its set targets


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