The government of Botswana concedes that South African-based Malawi prophet, Shepherd Bushiri is not an undesirable immigrant, and that he is welcome into their country at any point and time, Nyasa Times has learnt.
Botswana government added that Bushiri did not need a conventional visa per say, but that they required notification in advance so that they may prepare.
Earlier this year, a statement was released to the effect that the celebrity preacher would require will hae to apply for a visa in order to be granted entry into Botswana for his church crusade, despite holding a Malawian passport, which is subject to visa free entry within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc.
Speaking in parliament, the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs in Botswana, Edwin Batshusaid “that this individual, we have no problem with him. He is not a Prohibited Immigrant (PI) in this country”
The Minister added that, because Bushiri is a high profile visitor, his visit would need unprecedented protocols, and security, which included opening all borders for 24 hours, to allow travellers free access, as well as to allow Bushiri safe passage through any particular border, undetected by the potential millions of followers who would swarm the country.
“Of course in terms of security, we have to take care of people who come here. I want to share for what it is worth with this House that we have received a letter from his church notifying us of the high profile of this individual and asking us to be prepared that when he visits, we open certain borders 24 hours. So if he has to come and we have to prepare along those lines, we need to be notified in advance.
“…we should be prepared to open our borders 24 hours and make sure that we provide him with necessary security. For us to be able to do that, he has to apply for a visa to come here so that we could then lay on the ground all those provisions that will meet his status …”
Prophet Bushiri is expected to visit Botswana anytime this month for Englighten Chrtistin Gathering (ECG) church crusade.
“It is true but we never said he should not come to Botswana. We want to know when he comes here so that we monitor his movements,” director of immigration in Botswana, Mabuse Pule
Bushiri commands a strong following in Botswana, with multitudes attending his services and crusades in South Africa.
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