Kawana threatens rude immigration officials with immediate dismissal

Albert Kawana

Home affairs, immigration, safety and security minister Albert Kawana has threatened to amend the law and immediately fire immigration officials who are rude to tourists at the country’s borders.

He was speaking during the official launch of the visa-on-arrival programme for travellers at three gazetted borders in the Zambezi region, at the Katima Mulilo border post on Friday.

Travellers from 27 African countries and 29 non-African countries can now apply for visas upon arrival at the Katima Mulilo border post, the Ngoma border post and the Impalila border post.

Kawana claims that even after offering the immigration officials numerous training courses in customer service management at Omaruru or on-the-job training, the authorities still receive unfavourable reports about how immigration officials are handling tourists.

“We don’t want to hear any stories of mistreatment towards our visitors to Namibia. I think the time has come to grab the nearest whip and start whipping those rotten apples. Even if it means going to parliament and changing the law to empower the executive director to fire them on the spot.

“As employees of the state, you should know that tourists contribute to the economy of this country, which results in your fellow citizens getting employed. Tourism also contributes to your salary increment but you want to sabotage the economy of this country as an immigration officer. Action will be taken against those who will be found guilty without fear or favour,” he cautioned.

He also pleaded with border agencies, including the police, customs and others, to treat tourists and other visitors with the utmost professionalism, integrity and friendliness, while maintaining the nation’s security.

Zambezi regional governor Lawrence Sampofu echoed Kawana’s sentiments, saying the borders act as the faces of the country, setting the tone for what tourists can expect during their stay.

“If they are well received, they will say Namibians are accommodating people. Therefore, we implore all border agencies to do their work with a smile on their faces,” he said.

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