Malawi Police head, Inspector General Peter Mukhito, has accused law enforcement officers for giving sanctuary to illegal immigrants and aiding their stay in the country.
Mukhito claims there is “systematic organization” involving airport immigration officials that is aiding the illegal entries into Malawi.
But Immigration Department Peter Kakatela said illegal immigrants were finding their way to Malawi because the country was one of the transit routes which some foreigners use to get through to South Africa.
On December 30, 2011, Police arrested ten Bangladesh nationals at a check-point near Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe for illegally entering the country, but Mukhito strongly believes they were assisted to enter the country until they were intercepted at the roadblock.
Mukhito said most of the foreign lags “are passing through our airports without having their passports stamped.”
“This syndicate was well organized. Upon arrival, their passports were not stamped but they came in. And outside, they were again welcomed by one Immigration officer who took them to a vehicle. This is how serious the problem is. The other question is; how many have entered through that process?” said Mukhito.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Davie Chingwalu has since said an Immigration Official has been arrested over the matter. The particulars of the suspects were not disclosed.
Malawi has been registering a sharp increase in people coming to the country illegal.
Immigration Department spokesman said illegal immigrants normally use unchartered routes like forests, rivers when coming to Malawi to evade immigration officers.
Kakatela said while in transit in Malawi, some of them decide to stay in the country and start engaging in small scale businesses, especially Indians and Pakistanis. Some marry locals as cover against detection by immigration officers.
“Ethiopians Somalis, Burundians and Rwandese are always in transit to South Africa and you can even notice them because they always move in groups. These people are also described as asylum seekers.” Kakatera said.
He said Indians and Pakistanis who were doing businesses in towns and cities had Business Residence Permit documents which legalize them to do business in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :