The Department of Immigration has launched an upgraded version of the Zambia Immigration Management System (ZIMS), which is used for various migration management processes including passenger clearance, visa and permit issuance and other enforcement activities. The upgraded system called ZIMS version 3.0 was actualised through a project called the Consolidated Immigration System (CIS) which was funded by the Government to the tune of Thirteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Kwacha (K 13.5 million) and was executed by DotGov as developer of the upgraded ZIMS.
The CIS Project has digitized and automated all the immigration management processes, from the submission of applications, to the receipt of the visa or any immigration permit. Applications for Visas and various immigration permits can, therefore, be made online from anywhere in the world, provided one has access to the internet and can pay for the services online. Fees for Visas and Permits are being paid with the help of a secure Electronic Payment Platform, hosted by Barclays Bank Zambia Limited
The new system was officially launched on 12th April, 2019 by Hon. Stephen Kampyongo, MP, Minister of Home Affairs, at Mulungushi International Conference Centre. In his address, the Honourable Minister remarked, “increased realisation of the benefits of using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and in particular, the efficiency and effectiveness with which services could be delivered made my Government adopt the policy of digitizing as many public services as possible. As a result, public institutions were encouraged to adopt and promote Electronic Governance, and the Smart Zambia Institute was established to spearhead and coordinate the deployment of ICTs in the public sector. In line with the policy of creating a Smart Zambia, the Department of Immigration embarked on a project aimed at consolidating the application of ICTs in its operations”.
The use of the ZIMS has enhanced revenue collection and eliminated delays in remitting the revenue by sending it directly to the Government Bank Account through the payment platform, has reduced time frame within which the visas and permits are issued, eased access to the current immigration data for analysis and use in evidence based policy formulation.
The ZIMS has also freed the labour of officers from involvement in the application processes for visas and permits. As a result, the time and energies of officers are being devoted to the more strategic migration management activities. The time saved through automation of the application processes has also helped reduce the adverse effects of low staffing levels that the Department has had to live with for a long time.
“This system has without doubt helped reduce the cost of doing business in Zambia. For the Department less paper is now being used, while the clients of the Department need not visit the Immigration Department to get services, as they can apply for visas and permits from the comfort of their offices and homes”, The Minister said.
Dr Martine G. Mtonga, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet and Smart Zambia Institute National Coordinator, commented, “The Government through Smart Zambia is implementing the seventh National Development Plan development outcome 8 on enhanced Information Communication technology as ICTs have been identified as a catalyst for socio-economic development by promoting competitiveness as well as being an enabler of good governance. So far we have 38 government electronic services and we are here to witness one of the flagship electronic services in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration Department”.
Speaking at the launch, Ms. Mizinga Melu, Barclays Bank Zambia Managing Director, said “We are excited as a Bank that this e-commerce platform is what is powering the online immigration system that we are launching today. We realise that immigration has potential to add to the growth of the country and this partnership in delivering online immigration payments comes at a timely moment”.