MZUZU--Malawians should stop helping people to enter the country illegally, says Pres Joyce Banda.
The call was made Friday at Mzuzu Stadium during a memorial service for the July 20 victims who died during anti-government demonstrations last year.
“I am aware that 1,000 foreigners enter this country illegally every week through our borders, this is a major concern to my government because these people not only overpopulate this country, but engage in illegal businesses among other things,” she said.
The president said Malawi and Zambia each have 15 million people yet Zambia was yet five times the size of Malawi.
Helping people to enter the country illegally and settle worked against the interests of Malawi, a poor country that’s heavily dependent on foreign aid. Too many people need need resources which Malawi doesn't have, the president pointed out.
In the recent months, there have been cases of illegal immigrants being arrested or deported from the southern African country. But those were the lucky ones. Sixty Ethiopian migrants perished in Lake Malawi after their overloaded boat capsized in June.
Authorities have said locals were helping people without authorisation to enter the country.
“Fellow Malawians I appeal to everyone in this country to monitor this bad practice. We should not allow this trend to continue,” Banda said.
“As I am speaking now, I have Malawi passports of foreigners who can’t utter a single Chichewa word. These foreigners, I know obtained the Malawi passports after palm oiling immigration officers. This is a serious matter my fellow Malawians which should be stopped,” she said. “Authorities of Tanzania and Zambia are also concerned with the flooding of illegal immigrants. We have decided to hold a meeting to see what we could do to prevent the further growth of this problem.”
If the problem of illegal immigrants wasn’t dealt with, said Banda, “some day the future generation will curse us.”
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.