Zimbabwe News

30 undocumented Malawians arrested in Mbare

Thirty (30) Malawians were arrested in Mbare, Harare, on Monday, 22 April after they allegedly failed to produce documents proving they were in the country legally.

As reported by The Herald, the Malawian nationals were taken to Harare Central police station for further investigations.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests. He said:

Thirty foreign nationals have been arrested in an operation conducted by police in Mbare after receiving information.

Asst. Comm. Nyathi added that full details of the arrest would be released today.

Last month, the Zimbabwe Independent reported that since January 2024, there has been an influx of undocumented Malawian nationals.

Respect Gono, the chief director at the Department of Immigration, told the publication that the illegal migrants were arriving in Zimbabwe claiming they were going to work on farms. Said Gono:

We let their embassy identify them. After that, we hire buses to take them back. This is just sending them back through proper channels so that we do not ruin relations. We do not deport Malawians.

We repatriate them because they are part of the Southern African Development Community.

What happens is that sometimes they hide their passports after getting into Zimbabwe. We search and find to establish if they do have passports.

Mwayiwawo Polepole, Malawian ambassador to Zimbabwe, said that Harare and Lilongwe enjoy a long history of bilateral and diplomatic relations. Said Polepole:

Considering that cases of that nature were increasing and filling up space in prisons, the Government of Zimbabwe through the immigration department honoured the United Nations convention that the host country of those arrested should be sent back to their countries.

As neighbours and countries enjoying a long history of bilateral and diplomatic relations, two busses were dispatched to Malawi in January.

Again, in February, another bus-load was dispatched to Malawi. In some instances, when immigration informs the embassy of such cases, the embassy engages in a process of self-repatriation.

These processes are normal. The embassy is grateful to the Government of Zimbabwe for such a gesture.

Zimbabwe serves as a major transit route for African immigrants aiming to reach South Africa, and a significant proportion of foreigners arrested in the country are en route to South Africa.

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