The Department of Immigration has expressed worry over the number of illegal immigrants staying in Malawi.
The Department’s Public Relations Officer, Peter Kakatera told Nyasa Times in an interview that three-quarters of illegal immigrants staying in Malawi are aided by indigenous Malawians.
“When you aid a foreigner to stay in Malawi illegally, you are betraying your own country. There is a reason why government doesn’t accept everyone here and that is to protect the interests of its citizens,” he said.
He however bemoaned the behaviour of indigenous Malawians who aid unfounded foreigners in acquiring Malawian particulars to set up their businesses in the country a situation which is stifling business opportunities for poor Malawians.
Kakatera cited a case whereby a certain Burundians are operating shops under the pretext ownership of dishonest Malawians.
He warned that all Malawians who are involved in this behaviour will be locked up.
“Betrayers should be given a stiffer punishment because that is the only way we are going to send out a deterrent message.”
Despite continual modifications to means of dealing with illegal immigrants, certain section of the society remain convinced that the issuance of national identity cards will provide a lasting solution to the issue of illegal immigrants.
“The measures we introduced are really coming into effect. We have arrested a record number of illegal immigrants a case workers and a lot of immigration officers are being employed,” he said.
Currently, the department conducts border patrols, sweeping exercises as well as deportations and repatriation.