LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Region Secretary Damaziyo Shumba is being accused of meddling in the work of immigration officials in Lilongwe where he is allegedly cashing in in the name of the party by acting as a middle-man for people looking for passports.
According to Immigration officials who spoke to Maravi Post in a condition of anonymity, Shumba is frequents found at the offices every week to demand issuance of passports to people he brings along, most of them DPP young cadets and supporters.
The immigration officials are concerned Mr Shumba is using his political influence to help DPP members, especially members of the controversial youth wing, to easily acquire passports by bypassing other processes and he is receiving money in return.
Further, it is alleged that Mr Shumba is pressuring immigration officers to ensure the passports for his associates are published within a short period, despite paying fees for the normal processing period.
“In the party we don’t do that, if Shumba is doing that, he is doing it in his personal capacity; he must make sure the party should not be dented by this act,” said some DPP officials who sought for anonymity.
Shumba has however denied the allegation that his is facilitating the processing of passports for party zealots but only villagers from around the central region to fill passport forms as most of them are illiterate.
“I don’t deal with cadets. I deal with people from party areas and constituencies in the central region. People come to me as the DPP Regional Secretary for the Centre for help them get passports, so when they come I help fill the forms and escort them to immigration offices.
“You know one needs to understand passport to fill them properly. Let me put the record straight here I don’t get paid for these services. I have my own money; I have trucks, I have millions of cash. Shumba eats his own money,” boasted Shumba.
Some immigration officers, while acknowledging Mr Shumba is frequently seen around the Central Region Immigration Offices, indicated the offices are public and therefore anyone can access them regardless of their political affiliation.
National Spokesperson for the Immigration Department Joseph Chauwa denied his office is receiving pressure from Mr Shumba, saying all applicants collect documents themselves, not through middlemen.
“What happens is that when one wants to have a passport, after submitting the application, one is supposed to go through the process such as finger printing, and when the passport is out, we have a system of sending text messages so they should come to collect on their own.
“Again let me say the way the systems are, no immigration officer can be pressured as we work through computerized systems. About the alleged DDP official, I am not aware about that,” said Chauwa.
Despite Mr Shumba and immigration spokesperson denied the development, Maravi Post can reveal that Shumba collected five passports for DPP members from the Lilongwe immigration office this Wednesday.