Immigration Launches SOPs Manual

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Hon. Nixon Chilangwa officiates at the official launch of the Department of Immigration’s Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) Manual

The Department of Immigration on 17th December, 2012 launched it’s first ever Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) Manual at the New Government Complex, Lusaka.

Speaking at the official launch, Hon. Chilangwa who was the Guest of Honour, said that the Manual was going to harmonize Immigration operations and procedures across the various formations which include Immigration Headquarters, Regional Immigration Offices, Internal and Border Control Posts, as well as airports.

Hon. Chilangwa said he was confident that the Manual was going to lessen the variance of Immigration procedures from one station to another. He said “a foreigner entering Zambia through a control which offers shoddy service will not say that that port offers poor services but rather he/she will say Zambia offers very poor immigration services, regardless of the existence of excellent services at other ports of entry”.

He assured the Department that Government was determined and committed to rehabilitate structures which were in a deplorable state and to construct new ones in needy areas, in order to ensure that clients were attended to in a conducive environment regardless of the location of the Immigration office.

The SOPs Manual seeks to address the operationalisation of the various new aspects introduced by the newly enacted Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010, while embracing and strengthening the existing best practices and procedures.

The development of this SOPs Manual was consultative, as officers in the Expert Working Group (EWG) were drawn from all the provinces of the country.

Hon. Chilangwa said that the SOPs Manual, if correctly and comprehensively implemented by all immigration officers, would not only ensure the efficient delivery of Immigration services to the public but also reduce the incidence of corruption resulting from unnecessary delays and unclear procedures.                                                                 

He expressed hope that the Manual would serve as an instructional instrument that would allow employees to act without seeking directions, reassurance, or guidance.

Hon. Chilangwa further said that the step-by-step written procedures would also help hold employees accountable because employee expectations are documented and their actions can be measured against the SOPs.

He later thanked the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for their financial and technical support.

He also implored the Acting Director General of Immigration and his staff to fully implement the SOPs Manual.