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The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has engaged the Ministry of Homeland Security to audit all work permits, arguing that the country’s immigration system smells compromised.

The Chairperson of HRDC, Mr. Gift Trapence, wrote the Ministry on Tuesday 31 August 2021, expressing that the lapses in the immigration system of the country has allowed foreign employees and business persons to use expired permits.

HRDC discloses that it has been hinted by anonymous whistle-blower reports to them suggesting that some companies are bypassing the immigration system to have staff working for them without proper work permits.

“HRDC is, therefore, calling upon the Ministry of Homeland Security to institute a routine spot-check programme that will be monitoring companies and individuals who are not complying with the immigration laws of this country and bring such individuals and companies to book,” reads part of the letter from HRDC.

The letter stresses that if the Ministry of Homeland Security heeds the HRDC request, the country will stamp out corruption at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services when issuing permits.

Reacting to the letter before queries by the Press, Minister of Homeland Security, Honourable Richard Chimwendo Banda downplayed challenges on the issue of work permits saying the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services carry out routine checks.

“Right now, Immigration Department goes around checking the workers’ permits and, in some instances, foreigners are deported because the law takes its course. So, I can say we have no challenges on that,” Chimwendo said.

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