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Malawi immigration department in recruitment scandal: Unqualified assistants were employed in 2018 under Lloyd Muhara’s watch

Lloyd Muhara: He initiated insertion of unqualified immigration assistants into Human Resources Management System

Mzuzu-(Marapost)—It is now an open secret that some of the Assistants employed by Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services in 2018 were not only over aged but also had no Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) certificates with six credits, as per the requirements of employment regulations in the department.

According to a memo dated 13th April, 2018, that was written by George Zimba, Assistant Human Resources Management Officer (AHRMO) under the Personnel Audit Section of the department in the Ministry of Homeland and Internal Security to the Secretary for Human Resources Management and Development, out of 206 Assistants who were inserted into the government’s Human Resources Management Information System (HRMIS) before they started to receive salaries, only 78 Assistants met the employment requirements while 128 of them failed to meet the stipulated requirements of the advert of having 6 credits including English and that they should be aged between 18 and 25 years.

“In view of the above Sir, I propose that headcount should be carried out in order to physically verify the certificates and see the ADC Minutes whether those that have been employed are really the ones who attended the interviews and were successful as the office has failed to furnish this office with the same.

“It is rumoured that they submitted the certificates to MANEB but the office is failing to produce report from MANEB for the verified certificates,” reads the letter in part.

In his response dated 8th May, 2018, which was copied to the then Chief Secretary to the Office of President and Cabinet, Lloyd Muhara, Secretary for the Human Resources Management and Development, Mike Majabula, accepted to insert the messed up list of the Immigration Assistants into the government payroll and not to report the matter to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate any wrongdoing in the recruitment process.

“I write to thank you for being honest in admitting that the recruitment was messed up. Based on your honesty, my office has resolved to accept to insert the messed up list of the Immigration Assistants (Grade N) Non-Established payroll from June, 2018 payroll; not to report the matter to Anti-Corruption Bureau to pursue the recruitment moral decadency that happened in respect of the said Immigration Assistants and to soon initiate separate disciplinary process in respect of the mentioned Principal Human Resources Management Officer of the Immigration Department.

“Currently Government is pursuing reform programs some of which relate to modernising the Civil Service and it is a bit embarrassing hearing year in year out recruitment scandals in respect of recruitment of trainees in three of your ministry’s institutions namely÷ the Malawi Police Services, the Prison Services and now the Immigration Department without your ministry putting a stop to the recruitment moral decadency,” reads the response partly.

Efforts to seek a comment from the National Spokesperson for the Immigration Department, Joseph Chauwa, bore no fruits as his line went unanswered after several attempts.

Meanwhile, the Director General for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Reyneck Matemba, said his office has already been tipped on the matter and investigators are already on the ground following it up.

This comes against the background that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services is known for unspeakable corruption ranging from recruitment of its officers; whereby most of them are never recruited on merit, to dubious service delivery

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