Government is working on an integrated system that will enable the identification of wanted criminals and fraudulent documents at the country’s borders as it intensifies efforts to improve efficiency and service delivery.
The Integrated Border Management System, according to Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo, is expected to expedite passenger clearance at border checkpoints and promote monitoring, collection and reporting of data on migration and mobility.
“In a bid to improve facilitation of movement of persons in line with the Zim-Asset e-government initiative, the new technology will provide for a computerised system to collect and reconcile movement data and visa information,” Minister Chombo said while addressing journalists in Harare yesterday.
“It will be supported by an alert list function enabling identification of wanted criminals and fraudulent documents. It will involve interconnectivity between relevant stakeholders at borders which include the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Interpol and Immigration. The system can also be linked to other States borders.”
Minister Chombo said his ministry was also developing a National Immigration Policy to balance cross border movement to serve the needs of the economy and tap into opportunities that international business and investment present to Zimbabwe.
“The policy will prioritise security whilst acknowledging the importance of viewing migration as part of the broader national mobility in economies and societies because it is inevitable, necessary and desirable when well governed,” he said.
He expressed concern with a lot of people in search of various immigration permits who were falling prey to unscrupulous dealers masquerading as senior Government officials and asking them to pay large sums of money.
He said applicants should visit immigration offices and pay the gazetted statutory fees.
“I also urge all organisations which require expatriate skills to comply with our immigration laws before engaging their expatriates,” Minister Chombo said.
“It is an offence for any organisation to employ a foreigner without the requisite immigration permits. A number of them have been prosecuted for contravening the Immigration Act by employing such people without obtaining proper documents.”
Minister Chombo said following the enactment of the Trafficking in Persons Act last year, the Anti-Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee established by President Mugabe was in the process of crafting a National Plan of Action, a strategy articulating Zimbabwe’s counter trafficking activities.
“It should go a long way in combating this heinous crime of human trafficking,” he said.
Among other things, the Act provides for the prohibition, prevention and prosecution of the crime of trafficking in persons and the protection of victims.
There is also provision of an enabling framework for establishment and operation of centres for victims of trafficking.