Police in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre are intensifying their sweeping exercise which seeks to flash out illegal immigrants who are flocking the city.
Southern region police spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa says the police have so far rounded up 40 illegal immigrants mostly from Pakistan and India since the start of the exercise on Tuesday and are expected to be taken to court to answer charges of illegal entry.
Gondwa says most of them who are pending repatriation were found in shops posing as shop assistants and residential areas belonging to Malawians of Indian and Pakistani origin.
“We have discovered that many of them have stayed in the country for quite a long time and are being kept by Malawians in their respect homes and working shops yet they don’t have valid stay or work permits”.
Gondwa says the law will take its course on those Malawian nationals found habouring the illegal immigrants.
He is blaming the influx of the illegal immigrants on what he calls ‘porous border entries’ which are allow the immigrants pass, thorough containers carried by trucks without much security.
He says the police will be engaging in the sweeping exercise on regular basis.
Many people are partly blaming the influx of illegal immigrants on the absence of national identity documents which they say would easily differentiate between Malawi citizens and illegal immigrants.
Between September and December 2012, about 123 reported immigrants have been arrested for illegal entry and squatting.
Malawi is expected to start issuing national identification documents to its citizens this year according to the Director of National Registration Bureau, Peter Chitedze.