The Herald (Harare)

9 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Concern Over 'Stubborn' Immigrants

THE Immigration Department has expressed concern over Nigerian nationals who attempt to frustrate deportation processes by making frivolous applications to the Supreme Court after being arrested for staying in the country illegally.

This comes after a Nigerian was recently arrested in the city after being found without the required documents to stay in the country. Cletus Chukwuka Anueyiangu had his case dismissed on Wednesday last week at the Supreme Court after he challenged both his arrest and conviction.

He is still in custody and awaiting deportation. Assistant Regional Immigration Officer Mr Francis Mabika said Anueyiangu, who was residing in Braeside, entered into the country sometime in 2004 on a holiday before he went back to his country.

"He then attempted to enter into the country on 7 May, 2005, but was equivocally denied entry," he said.

It is believed that Anueyiangu then sneaked into the country, but was arrested and deported on June 15, 2005.

He sneaked into the country again using fake names and another Nigerian passport.

In 2006, Anueyiangu and two other Nigerians applied for and were issued with a Zimbabwe Investment Licence and they formed a company called Ideal Clothing Manufacturing based at the Gulf Complex.

Immigration officers found out about the company and launched investigations.

Anueyiangu then joined the Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe where he was a student pastor. On February 6 this year, further investigations carried out revealed that he was once deported.

"On 12 February, 2012, he made an urgent chamber application which was dismissed with costs by Justice Mavhingira on February 29, 2012," said Mr Mabika.

"In the course of the court proceeding, as a way to cover his tracks and as an afterthought, his counterparts went on to renew the Zimbabwe Investment Licence which had since expired on 15 December 2011 and presented the renewed licence in his supplementary affidavits without justifying the action."

Anueyiangu's wife was also ordered to leave the country, but she went into hiding before making an urgent chamber application to interdict the Immigration Department from arresting her knowing fully she had no legal right to stay in the country.

Anueyiangu also made the Supreme Court application against the High Court ruling, but it was dismissed with costs.

"Clearly, Nigerian nationals have shown an inclination towards frustrating due processes of law," said Mr Mabika.

"The dismissal of the application is a clear testament of the supremacy of law in Zimbabwe. Aliens do have a corresponding obligation to observe the laws of Zimbabwe."

Last year, more than 100 foreigners were arrested and deported for illegally operating businesses like grocery shops and restaurants in violation of Zimbabwe's immigration and investment laws.

The Department of Immigration said most of the culprits were Nigerians and Chinese.

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