Malawi court users point out flaws in illegal immigrant’s removal process

Court users in Malawi’s northern district of Karonga have observed that illegal Ethiopia immigrants whom the police have been arresting in the recent past are the very same people they have been arresting attributing this to government’s poor process in repatriating the illegal immigrants.

This came to light during court users meeting on Wednesday where Karonga Police Station Officer Godfrey Mughogho confirmed the observation.

“It is indeed true that these illegal immigrants especially Ethiopians come back after being disposed because the process is undesirable,” said Mughogho adding: “When it is time to dispose them, we just drop these immigrants in Songwe River banks and left them to find their way home.”

Karonga Station Prosecutor Senior Superintendent Peter Piringu concurred with Mughogho saying the country should find a way on how the illegal immigrants should be repatriated to end the problem of arresting the very same people.

The arrested Ethiopian illegal lags.Photo courtey of Labani Makalani/Police
The arrested Ethiopian illegal lags.Photo courtey of Labani Makalani/Police

“It is really sympathetic method that we use here and we are not surprised that almost every month we arrest the very same Ethiopians in our country,” said Piringu.

Karonga Sub –region Immigration Officer Richard Chidwala told the meeting that his office has no real way of dispose the illegal immigrants especially Ethiopians.

“We used to be sending these immigrants to Tanzania because we believed that they were using that route but now Tanzanian Government is refusing to handle the case due to huge number of these Ethiopians and they say they are not their people as such they cannot take them,” said Chidwala.

He added that the repatriation is done in that way because of inadequate resources facing the office.

“As a country, we are supposed to take these Ethiopians to their country to make sure that they do not come back in short period as they are doing but because of economic hardship, we dispose them near Songwe river the route they used which is a contributing factor to have them in large numbers,” added Chidwala.

As part of the solution to the problem the authorities agreed giving stiffer punishment to those habouring the illegal immigrants. Then they appealed to the government to give a helping hand in ending the situation which is a serious issue in Karonga.

Statistics show that Karonga police have arrested over 300 Ethiopians from since February.

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