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Police arrest suspected human trafficking agent

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Rezine Mzikamanda

Police have arrested Martha Kalazi Mbewe on suspicion that she is a human trafficking agent.

Malawi Police Service spokesperson Peter Kalaya confirmed the development Sunday.

“I can confirm that we have arrested Martha Kalazi Mbewe, who has been on the run,” Kalaya said.

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According to Kalaya, Kalazi Mbewe is among people that have allegedly been involved in human trafficking and is expected to appear in court today.

She is being suspected to have been processing 13 passports for people destined to work in the Middle East.

Ministers of Homeland Security and Labour Jean Sendeza and Vera Kamtukule, respectively, mentioned her name as one of the people suspected to be agents involved in trafficking in persons cases.

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Meanwhile, the Special Law Commission has recommended that there should be a new law in the country which will detour the smuggling of migrants.

Chairperson for the commission Chief Justice Rizine Mzikamanda said this during the announcement of the findings and recommendations on the review of the Immigration Act held at Capital hotel in Lilongwe on Friday

“The law will address the gap and domesticate the UN [United Nations] convention against transnational organised crime and its protocol against the smuggling of migrants by land, sea and air which Malawi is a party to,” Mzikamanda said.

He said the review noted that Malawi has no law that speaks about smuggling in persons, hence the recommendation.

The commission has also recommended a new Immigration Act bill to be enacted into law against the Act of 1964 that is currently being used.

The commission has also suggested a K50 million penalty for found smuggling people.

The Special Law Commission, which was chaired by the Chief Justice, has proposed the establishment of a service commission for the immigration and citizenship service under the Constitution and statue.

“The Special Law Commission recommends to abolish the post of the ‘Director General ‘to Commissioner General [of the] Immigration Department,” the report reads.

In the proposed law, recruitment of officers will be done by the commissioner general .

On foreign companies, the commission has recommend that a temporary business permit should be valid for 12 months and should not be renewable.

“Along term employment permit should be issued only to a person holding key position in an organisation or business entity to be valid for a period of two years from the date of issue and [be] renewable,” it reads.

Together with the draft bill, the report will be submitted to the Ministry of Justice for presentation before Cabinet. Later the bill will be presented before Parliament as a government sponsored Bill.

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