Malawi’s purge on illegal immigrants: 47 Ethiopians rounded up

Malawi authorities are rounding up suspected illegal immigrants in a large-scale deportation drive which has seen the 47 Ethiopians arrested by Police in the northern border district of Karonga.

The illegal lags tried to enter Malawi through uncharted routes.

Karonga Station Officer William Kadzayekha said the Ethiopians entered Malawi through the Ngana area and that  eight of the illegal immigrants were rushed to Karonga District Hospital because they not fit and unwell.

President Mrs Joyce Banda is on record saying Malawi could not afford an “invasion of illegal immigrants” with the aid of some unpatriotic Malawians.

The government has also been blaming the illegal immigrants for the spike in crime.

Some of the Ethiopians arrested in Malawi for entering the country illegally

“’We have intensified border patrols along the lakeshore and the border (with Tanzania),” said Kadzayekha said.


Minister of Home Affairs, Uladi Mussa disclosed that his ministry is working with the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs to put in place stringent measures to restrain unlawful immigrants from mowing the country of its resources.

Chief immigration officer, Hudson Mankhwala, said his department wants to address the trend by some unpatriotic Malawians of aiding illegitimate entry into the country.

“We plan to concurrently address the challenge through joint operations with the Malawi Police Service by conducting border patrols countrywide,” explained Mankhwala who also asked government for robust support to achieve the desired outcome.

The Minister has since promised the department that government would provide fast and efficient vehicles to assist in combating illegal entry.


On 17 June, 49 bodies of Ethiopians were found floating on Lake Malawi after they failed to swim ashore after the overcrowded boat they were travelling in capsized.

A fortnight later, at least 42 Ethiopians were also found dead in a truck as they tried to head for Malawi en route to South Africa.

The group died from asphyxiation as they were locked behind the truck to avoid detection by authorities. The truck driver abandoned the truck.

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