Concern over Israeli ‘guests’
Malawians have raised eyebrows over three Israelis who are visiting the country, reportedly on State House’s undisclosed business.
On March 2, 2020 Visa Officer, Gloria Mtande, wrote Officer-in-Charge for the Immigration Department at Kamuzu International Airport, Lilongwe, instructing him to issue Gratis Entry Single Visas on arrival to the Israelis— Aviv Osher (passport number 39017885), Bar Lev Omer (passport number 32212418) and Tsairi Marom (passport number 39023709).
“Approval is granted for the above named persons to be issued Gratis Entry Single Visas on arrival. They are coming to Malawi on invitation by The State House on a business visit,” the letter reads.
Times has so far established that the three arrived in the country on Wednesday and are putting up at a private residence in Lilongwe.
Asked on what business the trio is here for, State House spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani, said he needed to check if they have received such visitors.
“The letter is coming from the Director of Immigration and Citizenship Services. What about checking with them since the letter is theirs. For me, I will check if at all we had such visitors,” Kalilani said.
Immigration Department spokesperson, Joseph Chauwa, confirmed to have issued the letter, saying issuance of gratis visas is normal practice.
“It is normal for certain officials to get special clearance when they are in the country for government business, for instance. The point is they do not have to pay. Ministries and government departments ask for such clearance all the time when they have people coming into the country for official duties,” he said.
Chauwa did not disclose the actual purpose of the trio’s visit.
However, People’s Party (PP) spokesperson, Ackson Kalaile Banda, said with fresh presidential election drawing close, it is not right to have suspicious visitors coming into the country.
“This time, we want free and fair elections. No one should be ruling this country through back doors. Let Malawians decide the leadership they want. We can’t allow anyone to manipulate the election results this time,” Banda said.
He has since asked government to send the visitors back to their country.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition Central Region Chairperson, Billy Mayaya, said if the government does not explain the intentions of the visitors, then they should return to their country.
In an effort to establish who the three Israelis are and their occupation, we were directed to a LinkedIn profile of one Marom Tsaili, who, according to the profile, is Chief Executive Officer at Parabellum.
Parabellum website shows that it offers tailored training programmes and unique, intelligent experiences to equip elite individuals with skills, intuition and preparation they require to function professionally at the highest level.
“Founded by former members of Israeli intelligence communities and elite special forces, Parabellum’s philosophy and services are based on advanced knowledge of espionage, survival, anti-terrorism, combat and psychological warfare methods,” the profile on the web page reads.
Meanwhile, Chauwa has dismissed reports there is a shake-up at Immigration Department following the leaking of the letter about the arrival of the Isrealis.
Ahead of the disputed May 21 Tripartite Election, the government also called for caution scrutiny of visitors from countries such as Russia and Nigeria.
Malawi is expected to hold fresh presidential election on May 19 2020 as set by Parliament following an order by the Constitutional Court which nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election due to what the court described as massive irregularities.
Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM counterpart Saulos Chilima had asked the court to nullify the poll results and the court ordered that new presidential election should be held in 150 days from the day it delivered its judgement on February 3 2020.