Immigration Control Act remains a challenge

01 Aug 2014 14:20pm

WINDHOEK, 30 JUL (NAMPA) ? The country?s Immigration Control Act 7 of 1993 remains an operational challenge due to loopholes, particularly when it comes to the administration of domicile and interpretations by courts. The Act regulates and controls the entry of persons into Namibia, and provides for the removal from this country of certain immigrants. Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said in parliament on Tuesday that ?a draft Bill in this regard is at an advanced stage, and will soon be tabled in parliament once all consultations are completed?. With regards to illegal immigrants, she explained that the porosity of Namibia?s borders with her northern and north-eastern neighbours remains a breeding ground for illegal immigration, as it is easy to cross the borderline anywhere. The majority of people who are arrested for illegal immigration are those who crossed borders at places other than designated border posts. ?To curb this, the ministry has established regional immigration tribunals in the Zambezi, Kavango, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kunene and Erongo regions to consider applications for the removal of illegal immigrants,? she explained. A total of 3 406 foreign nationals, the majority being Angolans, have been granted citizenship between 2010 and 2014 as per Cabinet decision. Meanwhile, Iivula-Ithana shot down claims by Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) Member of Parliament Jesaya Nyamu that Namibia is a xenophobic country as many Angolans, particularly those on farms who came here due to war in their country, apparently still do not have citizenship. She said that?s not true, and should not be encouraged by MPs as the country has a lot of expatriates - those who came through the right channels ? with some even working in the public and private sectors. Xenophobia means having or showing an intense or irrational dislike or fear for people from other countries. (NAMPA) SL/ND/TK