At least 72 Malawians, including 26 women and three children, have been deported from Zimbabwe, six months after they were arrested for violating various immigration procedures.
The deported group arrived on Thursday through Mwanza Border. The group is made up of people from Mangochi, Mzimba, Balaka, Machinga and Salima.
According to immigration records, these are some of the key districts that dominate with large numbers of deportees without proper documentation in neighbouring countries such as Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Public Relations Officer for Mwanza Border Immigration Office, Pasqually Zulu, said the Department is concerned with the rise in cases of Malawians travelling outside the country without proper documentation.
“This incident has clearly shown that despite the department’s effort of decentralising the passport issuance system to a couple of districts, most Malawians still travel without proper documentation,” Zulu said.
Zulu added that following random interrogations of the returnees, it has been discovered that they mostly use unchartered routes between Dedza and Ntcheu districts before gaining access to the foreign countries.
“Even though some had passports, they did not go through immigration formalities. Others might have complied but they ended up overstaying whilst in transit due to poor documentation and mode of transportation,” Zulu added.
He further warned those involved in smuggling or trafficking that once caught, they will be dealt with accordingly.
There are, however, concerns that the number of the returnees could be more since others are on self-repatriation, having been dumped by their transporters.
Mwanza border alone has recorded 886 deportees from January 2017 to mid-December, 2017.
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