Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda on Monday engaged the leadership of Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) and the Lilongwe and Blantyre Small Scale Business Operators in a discussion to find a lasting solution to the proliferation of illegal immigrants plying their businesses in Malawi.
The meeting comes barely a few days after CDEDI and the business operators threatened that they would be taking to the streets from December 16, 2020, to force President Lazarus Chakwera to take action on illegal immigrants who are being blamed for depriving the locals of their economic opportunities.
Chimwendo Banda told the concerned parties that majority of the complained foreign nationals operating small scale businesses in the townships have licenses that were given to them by the former government.
However, the minister assured that the government will act on them once their licenses have expired.
“We share their concerns. But we also have to follow the law when removing these immigrants from our markets.
‘So, what we will do is not to renew their licenses and then facilitate their return to their countries,” said Chimwendo Banda in an interview with Nyasa Times after the meeting.
But Chimwendo Banda stressed that foreign nationals who are working in the country with valid papers will not be victimized as the government flushes out illegal immigrants.
However, the minister has assured that the Tonse government is committed to addressing the issue since it borders on the rights to economic activities for Malawians.
“But we would like to appeal to them to exercise patience as the government addresses their concerns. We are a listening government, and we will certainly assist them,” said Chimwendo Banda.