Asians aggrieved with “extreme aggression” by Immigration Dept.

“Describes conduct as unconstitutional”

Asian Association of Maravi (AAM) have been greatly aggrieved by “extremely aggressive” invasion by Immigration Department made at Area 2 in Lilongwe on the night of May 9, which the officials had explained was a door-to-door sweep to capture illegal immigrants.

A statement, addressed to no one in particular — dated May 13 issued by AAM chairperson, Rafiq Hajat — describes the Immigration officials conduct in the operation as unconstitutional and that they allegedly refused to show their identity papers.

The statement explains that on the night of Sunday May 9, the residents of Area 2 “were peacefully asleep when they suddenly were awakened by furious banging at their front doors at approximately 1 am”.

Hajat: condemns the extreme aggression

“Thinking that there was something sorely amiss, they opened the doors to find out what was going on and encountered a group of Immigration Officials, Policemen and Soldiers — equipped with large hammers and crowbars — ostensibly intent on forcing entry if the doors were not opened timeously.

“The bewildered residents were brusquely told that the Department of Immigration was conducting a door-to-door sweep to capture illegal immigrants and their home would thus have to be searched.”

However, Hajat contends that “the attitude of the officials was extremely aggressive and indeed lacked any consideration for the rights of the residents or any sensitivity for cultural/religious norms”.

He alleges that the said Immigration officials “insisted that Muslim women should uncover their faces which is strictly forbidden according to the beliefs of conservative Muslims”.

“When some intrepid residents asked for the identity of the officials, the adamant refusal was followed by increased aggressiveness and, when some enquired whether the officials had a search warrant, the mood turned ugly and the enquirers were roughly manhandled.”

Hajat also reminded of a similar operation that took place in Zomba at the same time on the same night, saying “this disturbing episode raises some profound questions as to the legality of such actions in Malawi”.

The statement says the Immigration Act of 1988 predates and is thus not harmonised with the Malawi Constitution which, in Section 5 states ‘Any act of Government or any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be invalid’.

“It is thus evident that the sweeping powers that the Act bestows upon Immigration Officials are therefore questionable in terms of constitutionality and of human rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Malawi;

“The Constitution S12 (iv) states that: ‘The inherent dignity and worth of each human being requires that the State and all persons shall recognize and protect fundamental human rights and afford the fullest protection to the rights and views of all individuals, groups and minorities whether or not they are entitled to vote’.”

Hajat further quotes Section 19 (3) of the Constitution that ‘No person shall be subject to torture of any kind or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ as well as Section 21 1(a) that ‘Every person shall have the right to personal privacy, which shall include the right not to be subject to searches of his or her person, home or property’.

“Further to the above, we wish to question how these illegal immigrants were allowed entry into the country in the first place? The identity of the Immigration Officials who issued their visas should be easily traceable in these days of bio-data computerisation and therefore raises the question as to why these Immigration officials are let off without reprimand whilst the illegal immigrants are hounded so remorselessly by others from the same Department?

“In addition, it is worth noting that when some of these illegal immigrants are caught, they spend an evening or two in custody and are then released to wander freely, until the next time when the whole farce is repeated — again and again! Something is sorely amiss!”

AAM thus recommends that therefore “the archaic Immigration Act of 1968 must be updated and harmonised with the Constitution as soon as possible”;

And that “the Immigration Officials who facilitate entry or aid and abet illegal immigrants to continue staying here should be identified and penalised severely as a deterrent to other would-be offenders”;

And also that “officials from the Dept. of Immigration must cease immediately to act in such an aggressive manner forthwith and develop a more humane attitude”.

“Any interrogation of female suspects must be conducted by female officers in order to respect religious, cultural and gender sensibilities.

“Any bonafide person who has been affected by such behaviour from Government Officials must report the incident directly to institutions such as the Malawi Human Rights Commission, who must then take up the challenge to exact justice upon recalcitrant offenders.”

In its conclusion, AAM they fully support the government’s efforts in curbing illegal immigration but they have “serious reservations on the modus operandi that was applied”, saying “such behaviour by government officials belongs in a Police State and not in a Constitutional Democracy”.

“It is therefore necessary for the Department of Immigration and all State institutions to acquaint themselves and adhere to the provisions on the Constitution instead of using archaic legislation to justify violations of human rights.

“We trust that these concerns will be received in a constructive manner and welcome any dialogue on the issues alluded to above,” the statement said.

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Gaga
Gaga
11 months ago

For sure this is true ma Pakistani,indian and Bangladesh ndi ausilu ndi anthu oti amaononga dziko amakonda mathanyula
Ndiye kaya poti chakwera akuzimvela ekha including immigration officer’s
Komaso azitichindila azichemwali athu cholinga chofuna ID ya unzika cha!!!!!!!!!!

Bien
11 months ago

Inu a Immigration fix your system or require proper system that will be helping to trace people where they are going when coming here especially obwera wa. Like in Botswana, every person gives an address where a person is going, and if the person appears in system automatically flagged yellow card police must go search for the individual at given address. And also at port of entry a person should give a valid address. Very unfortunate the country is still in its dark AGE no street address available up to date, shame Malawi Government with its city and town councils… Read more »

Baba Tunde
Baba Tunde
11 months ago

Hahat has been to USA and UK. Immigration officials even there, can raid homes if they have been tipped about illegal immigrants. Hajat should advise his fellow immigrants to simply follow the law and they should make an effort to integrate with the people of the land that gives them milk a d honey. Zoti dziko ndi wanu dalama ndi wathu is what brings hostility that he complaining about

tuntyufe
tuntyufe
11 months ago

excuse my ignorance. kodi Hajat which side is he?

Kajedza
Kajedza
11 months ago

Well it was not only in Lilongwe. It happend in Blantyre as well . Probably Hajat does not know because they did not go to his house or other rich immigrants. It was early morning. There are so many men and woman roaming around the streets of Blantyre posing as Road Traffic, Immigration officials and with a set of car keys in their hand, they ask for say they are stranded and wanted money for fuel. You will find them at Delamere house car park, opp Mount Soche, etc During the recent immigration check when one asked for ID cards,… Read more »

Nagama
11 months ago

There is no problem with immigration enforcement knocking early they are doing their job. They do that in UK too. shows Malawian immigration is working. well done. .👏👏

Simon Chikuse
Simon Chikuse
11 months ago

There is nothing to worry if you have the right Documents, Thumbs-up to the Immigration department

Poor Malawian
Poor Malawian
11 months ago

Tuopa covid 3rd wave. Inuyo amwenye stop bringing your relatives here. Our immigration is not wrong. Dzimatenda dzanuzo khalani nadzo ku India konko

007
007
11 months ago
Reply to  Poor Malawian

Whos making those papers having big fantas

Zero la sowa kuti aase
Oyamba mavuto ndi konkuno
Tiku loweza imene chifuka cha
Fanta isowa komaso maripiru wo chepa

Khaani ndi zimenezo

Whip lash
Whip lash
11 months ago
Reply to  Poor Malawian

I had always known that you will eventually blame the mwenye for bringing third wave it has now been more than 3 weeks since salima sugar cases and I don’t see cases in salima District rising therfore we can conclude that MoH done a tremendous job of containment, however I have reservations as to 69 deported Malawians who have recently come into the country and no information has come if they have been in quarantine or tested and that is how 3rd wave will begin but once again you will put the blame on mwenye because every Malawian will belive… Read more »

Lusako
Lusako
11 months ago
Reply to  Poor Malawian

Covid aside; asians have been flocking to Malawi for years to pick jobs that Malawians can do. Then they are given favors above Malawian workers yet they have no skills at all. Rafiq Hajat, in your association inform each other that Malawians dont like your racism which is contraly to Islam. Our immigration is justified to carry out these sweeping exercises to flush out the illegal immigrants. Just to remind you that The Tonse administration is fighting corruption and you better acclimatise quickly. Salaam alykum

Al-Baghdad - The Caliph
Al-Baghdad - The Caliph
11 months ago

Rafiq why didn’t u stop your members from hiding illegal economic immigrants? 130 were in country without proper papers. You meant law breakers couldn’t be arrested during Ramadan or your women could not be unveiled for identification! You are putting our country at huge risks. Poor Malawians have one home and one country while you and fellow Amwenye have multiple homes/ countries. Hamas was shelling Israel during Ramadan. Why didnt you stop them to observe your holy period. This is about our security and your faith cant compromise it. Seems Malawi Govt is giving Amwenye too much and getting too… Read more »

Sindyeka Dekhani
Sindyeka Dekhani
11 months ago

Mwalasa, Dziko ndi wathu uyu.

Hajat,
Those Laws whether archaic or not, they’re still functional and they were applied.
We have procedures for amending Laws in Malawi and I know you how to go about that.
We need more Police/Immigration Road check points in Area 2/47.

Ashok Kumar
Ashok Kumar
11 months ago

You write “how does Modi treat Moslems in India”. Moslems are definitely treated much better in India compared to how Hindus and Christians are treated in Pakistani and Bangladesh. This can be evidenced by how much the Hindu and Christen population in those two countries has astronomically gone down over the years due to widespread persecution. Please learn your facts first before making such accusations.

Hate it or take it but it's a fact

Well answered and articulated, hope u have hit some sense in Hajat who seems to be lost.

Cairo
Cairo
11 months ago

I totally agree with you. These Indians are too much, the Immigration must do its work with them. Angobweretsana and putting Malawians at risk.

Suzgo
Suzgo
11 months ago

I dont see any issue here. Go Immigration go! Go police even our dear troops go after them.Ndalama ndiwathu dziko ndiwathu.everywhere in the world its the same treatment expect more. If our men in uniform fair we are ready to flush these indian on our own

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