With reports that Malawi government intends to hike fees for public services in the country, there are concerns that citizens will be paying exorbitant fees for services that are poor while also being forced to bribe officers.
Malawi Confederation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has described the routine by Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development to request government ministries, departments and agencies to hike fees as “punishment to people”
MCCI Chief Executive Officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira is quoted in the local press to have described the proposal of the hike as an attempt to heap the state financial burden on the poor people.
“Normally, you do not raise fees or taxes when the economy is doing badly. This is a punishment meted on people of this country,” said Kaferapanjira.
The Department of Immigration is reported to have proposed that it should be allowed to raise the passport from K48, 500 to K80, 000.
However, the proposed hike by Department of Immigration calls for more worry that people are to be paying more for a passport since officers at the department demand bribes.
This concurs with a report by the Ant Corruption Bureau (ACB) that has indicated that the Department of Immigration is among government departments that are involved highly in bribes for the citizens to access the services like passports.
ACB’s pilot assessment study conducted in Blantyre, that targeted the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) and Immigration and Citizenship Services (ICS) released days ago, indicated that 75.7 percent of service users and 38.2 percent of the officers at the Department of Immigration agreed to payment of brides for passport.
The summary of ACB’s study show that citizens and officers at Department of Immigration agree to the bribes, hence making the malpractice a culture to access Malawi passport.
The trend calls for more worries that the citizens of the country are to pay more on proposed hike to K80, 000 on Malawi passport adding the cost of bribes on the service.