Government has cautioned theto be strict with immigrants entering and leaving the country in order to maintain peace and social security.
Home Affairs Minister, Lameck Mangani says the department should be carefully to facilitate and regulate the movements of people coming and leaving the country and ensure that their stay in the country is strictly controlled.
He says there is need for the department to distinguish between facilitating illegal immigrants dealing in illegal and criminal related activities and those who are genuinely entering the country.
Mr. Mangani said this at the pass out parade for 119 Immigration Assistants from the Immigration Department at Lilayi Police Training College today.
He said the country has witness an upswing in cases of illegal immigrants andresulting mainly from globalization and national conflicts in surrounding countries and urged the department to firmly deal with perpetrators of such vices.
Meanwhile Mr. Mangani has called on Immigration officers to promote Zambia as a best country for investments, trade and tourism by creating the best impression to people coming to the countr.
He said officers should endeavor to provide good services to the people in a more accountable and transparent manner that reflects a positive image of the country.
“You are the first contact with all visitors in the country as such it is only prudent that the first impression of all visitors culminates into making Zambia a preferred destination country for investment, trade, and tourisms. But you should be careful not to engage in corruption nor facilitate immigrations dealing with illegal migration and other related crimes” he said.
Mr. Mangani called on the officers to uphold discipline and government policy of zero tolerance to corruption warning that all officers who will be found wanting will firmly be dealt with.
And Chief Immigration Officer, Anderson Phiri said the department has embarked on the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to improve the border management systems.
Mr. Phiri said with the coming of the Africa Cup and the department is expected to record a considerable increase in the number of people visiting the country and also an increase in cross and tarns border crimes.
He, however, assured that the department was ready to deal with any such challenges.
Mr. Phiri called on government to increase the staffing levels at the department adding that it was operating at low staff level of 437 out of the required 850 officers.