Written by 10:40 am Economy

Kihalangwa urges immigration officers to uphold integrity

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State Department of Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa has called upon the immigration officers to maintain honesty while delivering their services to the public.

He reiterated that the department is critical to the security set up of the nation and any corrupt activities by the officers will put the state at risk.

Speaking Wednesday while bidding farewell to the officers of the department in Nairobi, Kihalangwa reiterated that he strived to fight corruption and tribalism in the sector to ensure good service delivery.

“Immigration is supposed to be a service not a haven to exploit Kenyans who are in dire need of assistance,” Kihalangwa asserted.

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He pointed out that the department has been working hand in hand with Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to ensure that immigration is free from the vice.

Kihalangwa confirmed that the department received Sh.300 million in the financial year 2019/2020 budget for digitization of the files and Sh.150 million for stamps acquisition in the immigration department to ensure efficiency on service provision.

Last year in September, Police nabbed 71 immigrants who were being trafficked through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with fake entry stamps on their passports.

On the issue of extension for the e-passports, the former PS said he was happy President Uhuru Kenyatta in his wisdom decided to extend the deadline from August 31, 2019 to March 3, 2020.

Kihalangwa who has been moved to defense portfolio in the same capacity advised the officers to be very careful with the equipment and resources entrusted to them by the government since funds are hard to come by in this hard economic times.

Immigration Department Director Alexander Muteshi underlined that the outgoing PS left a rich legacy in the immigration department.

“During his spell we managed to take part in digitization of immigration files by going electronic in passport application and championed for capacity building through pushing for further 200 personnel to help in service supply,” he  said

Muteshi affirmed that Kihalangwa was keen in ensuring that services reach the grassroots level and internationally by calling for increase in passport application centers.

“Recently we have opened offices in Kisii, Nakuru and Embu in the country. Internationally we have established offices in Dubai and next month in London,” Muteshi said.

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