The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration has tightened its measures to its staff aimed at curbing the growing vice of extortion of money from travelers as reported by members of the public at Entebbe Airport last week.
According to Maj. Gen. Apollo Kasiita Gowa, the Director Citizenship and Immigration Control, they acknowledge complaints and allegations from members of the public about extortion at the airport by staff.
“We have taken keen interest in the accusations particularly immigration staff and we are already taking measures to have them addressed justly and swiftly,” Gen. Gowa
There was a fury from members of the public who used mostly social media to express their anger towards staff at Entebbe Airport whom they accused of extorting money from them.
Posting several videos on social media platforms, Ugandans said they were extorted as much as $1000 or else be thrown out of the airport and stopped from traveling to their various destinations.
However, in a set of measures issued on Monday 23, the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration reasoned with the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) to ban the use of mobile phones by their staff at the airport.
“All immigration staff will not use mobile phones while at work and must have access cards issued by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority that detail the holder’s particulars,” Gen. Gowa said.
He said they have deployed more senior officers to boost supervision of Immigration staff who will be readily available to listen to complaints.
“All immigration staff must be in full uniform complete with names embroidered on their shirts with the uniform made up of a white shirt and forest green trousers for men as well as white shirt and forest green skirt for ladies and pips depending on rank and title with tree stars and one with a green background for immigration officers and assistants respectively who form the bulk of staff deployed at the airport,” he said
The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration advised members of the public to record videos and any other form of evidence in case any of their staff asks them for a bribe while at the airport but also warned the public against offering bribes to their staff.
“In this spirit, we call upon all travelers with complaints about immigration stuff backed up with evidence such as dates of travel and flight numbers among others to report to us these complaints. You can be very certain that once verified, action will be taken.”
Gen. Gowa however expressed concern that some of the allegations raised by members of the public are sensational, some defamatory while others are memes and wild accusations “unworthy of any attention.”
“We also urge the public that except with evidence, to avoid sensationalism and defamatory posts as it is not only wrong but could also lead to legal action being taken against them by the affected groups of people,” he said
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