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Heads to roll at immigration

- Officers questioned over illegal deals with Nigerians - unlawful passports and permits charged at P20 000 a piece

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Heads to roll at immigration
MINISTER: Makgato

The Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Dorcas Makgato has issued a stern warning that she will not hesitate to fire any officers found to be involved in corruption.

Makgato’s mesage of caution was uttered on the backdrop of police investigations of corrupt practices that are reported to be rampant at her ministry.

Information gathered by this publication has indicated that a number of immigration officers have been frequenting police offices for questioning following a tip off that some of them were involved in a syndicate that helps in child trafficking by issuing illegal work permits and passports, especially to Nigerian crooks.

One of the senior staff members was arrested after allegedly facilitating the trafficking of a 13 -year- old Nigerian boy to Botswana recently, The Voice investigations have revealed.

A source within the Ministry has revealed that Nigerians were routinely charged P20 000 to have their papers processed unlawfully.

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Superintendent Obusitswe Lokae confirmed that indeed there was an investigation carried out at the immigration department.

“Things came out after we got the 13- year old boy on arrival from Nigeria. He had passports for both Botswana and Nigeria and we have since kept him in a safe place as he will be used as evidence in court.” Lokae said, adding that one of the most senior immigration officials was being questioned, as she was suspected to be the mastermind of all the illegal transactions.

Speaking in an interview Makgato said that she was very much aware that there were a number of ongoing investigations and that some of her officials have been taken by the police for questioning. Although she refused to disclose more details saying it might compromise investigations, she issued a stern warning to perpetrators.

“I won’t tolerate corrupt officers, they will go, and I will leave no stone unturned. Part of the reason why we have regressed as a country in terms of doing business and competitiveness is unnecessary delays that when you delve deeper to find out what causes some of these delays you realise they have everything to do with some of these corrupt officials who are profiteering out of bureaucracy and long processes. I will not be intimidated and my aim is to clean this ministry,” Makgato said.