The government of Tanzania has deported 12 Malawians – most of them youths under the age of 30 – who are since being detained in a removal detention camp while waiting for deportation, Malawi government officials have confirmed.
The deportation comes a few days after Lilongwe wrote Dodoma protesting the latter’s newly published map that has part of Lake Malawi on it.
Songwe Boarder publicist Yusuf Shaibu confirmed the development to Nyasa Times, adding that most of the deportees are Tongas from the lakeshore district of Nkhata Bay and were arrested in their respective work places in Dare Salaam.
“We were surprised seeing that immigration authorities from Tanzania have brought Malawians to our post claiming that they were found in their country without work or business permits as they were carrying out an ongoing national operation, a thing which has not been happening for a long time,” said Shaibu.
He then identified some of the deportees as Moses Nkhwazi, 32, Mdula Mwaipopo, 24, Thomas Kamanga, 20, Kidry Essau, 19, Jackson Villium, 22, Ethel Kalambo, 25, Nelly Moses, 18 and Ennelles Chirwa 26.
Thomas Kamanga confided in Nyasa Times in an interview that “we are wondering why the Tanzanian government is only targeting Malawians despite there being a number of illegal immigrants from other countries like Zambia.”
He added: “The bad thing is that when Tanzanians come here we treat them as brothers and sisters but when we go to their country nowdays, we are illtreated.”
Meanwhile, some quarters suspect that the Tanzanian government has embarked on the “deportation campaign” as one way of expressing their anger over the boundary disputes between the two countries – especially on the Lake Malawi.
Most of the districts in the northern region are harbouring hundreds of Tanzanians living in the country illegally; and, on top of that, operating shops illegally.
In 2013, Malawians living in Tanzania were also chased and some fishermen beaten when the disagreements over the lake had reached their apex.
The development may spark a tit-for-tat action whereby Malawians may start chasing Tanzanians living illegally in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :