The Department of Immigration has in the first half of this year arrested 614 foreigners for illegally staying in the country, as it intensifies efforts to curb breaches of immigration laws.
About 562 of the illegal immigrants have since been deported to their respective countries.
Newly-appointed chief immigration officer Ms Respect Gono said the department formulated compliance teams nationwide to enforce national migration laws.
“The department carries out spontaneous and sporadic operations countrywide,” she said.
“The department has strengthened stakeholder engagement with other security departments. The department publishes cases of those in breach of national migration laws to deter future offenders.
“This has also resulted in citizens giving tip-offs leading to successful arrests. We have ensured offenders are prosecuted for deterrence. To date, a total of 614 have been prosecuted, while 562 illegal immigrants have been deported from the country.”
Ms Gono said the department, being an arm of the Government, has also joined hands in fighting corruption in society.
She said the department maintains an unwavering intolerance policy on corruption.
“We have a sound code of conduct that we ensure is made aware to officers apart from the in-house training sessions that we periodically do from time to time,” said Ms Gono.
“The department is guided by the Public Service Regulations of 2000 and all officers are aware that any violations of its provisions are dealt with accordingly. We have on record officers who have been reprimanded, penalised and discharged.”
Ms Gono said digitalisation of work processes was an ongoing exercise in the department and this was meant to eliminate human interface, thus plugging all forms of revenue leakages that would emanate from manual processes. “The department introduced an online visa application and payment platform,” she said. “The department is also working towards an e-permit platform which totally eliminates physical interface between officers and clients.
“There is a staff transfer policy in place to ensure that officers do not enjoy prolonged stays at one station where they will over familiarise themselves with clients who use respective borders.”