Decline of Security Values in Immigration Department

An investigation of the decline of security values in the Malawi Immigration Department

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According to Taylor (2013), security value is defined as a psychological catch expression that is perceived to be the last argument to determine action or reaction by the majority. Security values are qualities and standards that have a certain weight in the choice of actions that prescribes the proper conduct in general as well as certain situations Burges (2002). It is the fundamental principle on which the social, political and physical existence of the state is based Simonie L. (2002). Security institutions are greatly aware of the need for security values in public environment in this century hence the emergence of a consensus that good governance and sound public administration underpin sustainable development of the state. Therefore, security values are extensively learned and trained in detail, in different security specialized institutions in order to provide the services and help keep the nation safe and prosperous Steven (2011). They bear a true reliance and allegiance of the nation’s constitution, the fulfilment of obligations and directs officers to avoid shortcuts that would undermine the desired integrity of service output of the nation. It is through securing such values that a country can attain vibrant development and economic wellbeing. These security values are expressed in officers through treating the public as they should be treated, with dignity and respect, serving or conducting the country’s service without thought of recognition or gains and also delivering public services in the required constituted manner (Ross 2011).

The Malawi Immigration Department is one of the few security specialised institutions in Malawi, established to carrying out, acting, and living up to such values in order to achieve a better conducive secured environment of the country’s security objectives. It is a specialised security institution in Malawi, with security values speculated in the Republic’s constitution, Immigration Acts and also Citizenship Act and even the operating principles, vision and mission, to help the officers perform accordingly Immigration Strategic Plan(2011). In the department, security values encompasses reliability, obligation, respect, selfless service, reputation, integrity and allegiance in serving the state and the general public from internal as well as external threats Immigration Department Service Charter (2008). These values acts as a compass that guides the department and officers in each and everything they do and represent what the government believe and care about. Security values as stipulated clearly show that they cannot be considered in isolation from each other as they often overlap Chapunga (2012). Security values are expected to integrate into both the institution and officer’s decisions, actions policies, processes, systems and also in the way different stakeholders of different kind and the common public are dealt with. The paper seconds the fact that sustainability of security values is the only cornerstone of good governance and democracy which can boost the wellbeing of the country. This research therefore, intends to study the security values of the Malawi immigration department officers and analyse whether they are sustained as to the required standard expectation of both the general public and the nation.

The Malawi Immigration Department exists under the Ministry of Home affairs and Internal Security to carry on some of the country’s security duties while recognising and adhering to security values. The institution has a fundamental role to play in serving the country while observing that security values are not violated in any way. The Malawi Immigration roles are guided by the laws of Malawi as well as the Republic of Malawi constitution under Section 47 and also governed by two acts which are; the Citizenship Act (CAP 15:01) and the Immigration Act (CAP 15:03). The department has a huge security responsibility to control of people entering and leaving the country, process and issue travel documents to eligible people in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules, process and issue Citizenships, Residence, Work Permits and Visas in accordance with the existing policies, monitor, track and apprehend the immigrants, and repatriate illegal immigrants in order to promote and safeguard the security of the state. However, the department demands much integrity and allegiance of officers to safeguard the nation’s purpose of existence and security objectives with the trained security values they contain. Hence expected to have good reputation in conducting their duties in order to build trust and confidence in the people it serves as well as to the sustainability of the whole nation security values. In other word, the more the department makes choices made on integrity, the more value will affect the general public as well as the nation. Therefore, the department quality and standard of their duties rely on its trained officers to demonstrate such values in their choice of action that should prescribe the proper conduct of the values Ng’oma (2011).

Recently, there has been an outcry from the general public concerning the ill deliverance of immigration different duties. This has attracted the researcher to question the integrity of the department. Many people including different organisations, such as media, the civil society organizations, the Ant-Corruption Bureau and other Non-governmental organization, have written much about the ill delivering of different services of the department. According to the Nation Newspaper April (2013) reported the cases where three immigration officers processed and issued Malawian passports to two Burundians and one Nigerian to enable them travel to United kingdom as well as Italy. As it is well known that Malawi’s passport does not require visa to enter in most developed countries hence countries whose reputation is negatively affected with crime would want to use to easy their migration to such states. Therefore most officers are bribed to allow such malpractice take place. The recent data has shown the rapid increase of the increase reports concerning the illegal immigrants, immigration officers mistreating the general public as not expected Mwakasungula (2012). The Immigration strategic plan (2008) stipulated the period within which the new passport system was going to deliver and stressed the processing of the normal passport to take place within 21 days. This has not been the case since from the day of its implementation, only a few rich individuals have been able to acquire the service in due promised period. The department has failed to fulfil its obligations and also their morals as security institution has been lost Chibwana (November Sunday Daily Times, 2014). Therefore the latter clearly portrays the decline in security values of the officers and tarnishing the department’s integrity as well as of the national security management. This advance attracts the researcher to investigate the contributing factor to such negative development since as security officers who are well trained with different value expertise and skills to help achieve the nation’s security intended objectives no longer seem to be trusted by the people whom they supposed to serve. The whole performance of the officers is measured according to the operating value principles which are put in place within the department.


In the immigration department there is a decline of security values shown through the officers’ conduct in the way they carry out their services. As expected by the country, it is the duty of the officers to carry out their responsibilities with much integrity in order to safeguard the security values of the department in line with their trained code of conduct manners to meet the national security intended objectives Immigration Manual Book (1999). While there are many security institutions with rumours of corruptions and other security moral decay in security sector, immigration department seems to be ranking with more negative incidents and cases Ant-Corruption Assessment (2010). Corruption, late delivery of services, negligence, failure to control the influx of illegal immigrants, issuance of the Malawi passport to ineligible people are characterising and labelling the department. This is defeating the intended trained security values of the department as outlined in the department of immigration rules of conduct and laws. Where the operating security values have been well articulated such as accountability, transparency, high degree of integrity and honesty, corrupt free, responsiveness and resourcefulness, respect and lastly public relations. This is a challenge not only to the department of immigration as an institution but also, affects the integrity of the government as well as the whole national security management in Malawi (Immigration Service Charter, 2008). Therefore, this is problem worthy investigating the influencing factors.



Baldwin (2002) defines security values and norms as morals which are embedded and trained within security specialised organisations. Baldwin researched that security values can be changed any time to suit the globalisation norms where there is international policing and cross-border policing to accommodate the reform values. Because of such changes, many factors and variables mutually influence one another to fit in the new security cultures. Baldwin’s research findings was connected with the changing nature of tradition security beliefs to the new security beliefs due to the nature of the world. The researcher acknowledges Baldwin’s work which is based on appreciating the change in security values and norms as the result of suiting into the new security cultures. However, this research intends to investigate the causes of the decline of security values of the officers in the Malawi Immigration Department.

Isaiah Emboli, (2004) wrote about “The elites Controlling Security Institutions in Malawi. Security values in Malawi have been at stake since most of the work is guided by the ruling elites. Security machinery of government, such as Police, Immigration are primarily to secure elites own interests and continuation of their rule rather than the protection of the state and the people. Emboli’s findings indicates that the concept of national security is inapplicable if the security values are not recognised or respected. This has been anchored by Undule (2011) who critically researched about the causes of long queues in most public service offices especially immigration offices, road traffic authority and the police. He found out that only those who are able to pay extra amount of money are quickly attended than those who cannot afford to pay extra amount. While security values is the matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything a security officer do. Most researcher’s findings show that there is great value deficiency in most trained officers. However, this is the gap for this research to investigate and establish the extent of the decline of security values in the Malawi Immigration Department.

Takawira Musavengana (2010) has done a research on Security Sector Governance. The research is about the national and regional security value architectures that facilitate democratic governance of the security sector in Zimbabwe. Musavengana’s research findings was on how important it is to losing some of security values in order to support democratic ideals such as accountability, transparency and rule of law. He articulated much on the need for the creation of an environment in the security sector, where human security should be paramount and the need to sifter some of the old security traditional values which seem abusive to the general public. The researcher acknowledges Musavengana’s findings especially on how he recommends the need of applying democratic ideals in the security specialised institutions. However, it is the duty of this research to assess the effects of the decline of security values and how can this implicate national security management in the country within the democratic environment.