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Ministry admits corruption

Staff Writer
The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs has revealed that a sizeable number of its officers are corrupt. The ministry's PS, Segakweng Tsiane, said that it is disappointing that many officers are taking bribes.

"Though I can't reveal it, it is quite a shocking number. Against those who admitted to professional misconduct, due process of the law is being followed. There will be disciplinary hearings and where necessary appropriate action taken against them," she said.

Labour and Home Affairs Minister, Peter Siele, said that corruption is like cancer and can have a devastating effect on the country's economy if left unchecked. He said his ministry is taking the matter seriously and they are vigorously tackling the vice. "Those who take bribes will be punished," he said.

The ministry reported that passport theft has gone down. There have been reports that criminals around the world are stealing Botswana passports for criminal purposes. In response to the disturbing situation, the ministry devised stringent conditions to guard against the theft. The

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fee for the replacement of a lost passport has been hiked from P30 to P1,000.

At a press briefing yesterday, Tsiane said that they have been working in conjunction with international partners like Interpol to address the issue of theft of Botswana passports.

"Interpol has a unit which determines the standards and quality of security of passports internationally. So we are obliged to comply with the standards they set. We (with other countries) have an annual meeting where ministries discuss passports, security of moving from one country to another. Of late, we have been receiving less reports from our counterparts worldwide, due to the controls we have set in place," she said.

Tsiane said that they intend to computerise all their documents, like passports and permits to help control theft and fraud.



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