20 December 2012

Zambia: Don't Habour Illegal Immigrants - Minister

Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu has warned Zambians against harbouring illegal immigrants.

Mr Lungu condemned some Zambians who were not willing to give information on the presence of illegal immigrants entering the country through ungazetted points.

He said other Zambians were harbouring and aiding illegal immigrants to conduct illegal activities such as smuggling of essential goods to some neighbouring countries.

The minister said in an interview that the Government had instituted a clean-up exercise to rid the country of illegal elements.

"We are conducting a clean-up exercise to flush out illegal immigrants. Some Zambians are not patriotic like in other nations because they are aware of the presence of such people but fail to inform relevant authorities," he said.

He said it was a challenge for the Government to remove such people because of limited information about their presence in communities.

Mr Lungu said the Immigration Department should be informed about the existence of illegal immigrants.

"I can assure you that as a Government we have put in place stringent measures to flush them out but above all, we need timely information to help us swiftly act against such vices," he said.

He said illegal immigrants were perpetuating illegal cross-border activities such as human trafficking and smuggling which the Government was determined to address.

The minister's concerns come in the wake of reports that illegal sale of fuel, cement and mealie meal was going on along the border in Mufulira and Sakania.

Some foreigners are entering the country with legal documentation and freely buying essential commodities from Ndola which they illegally ferry to the Democratic republic of Congo.

Residents in Phima 1 and 2 on Mufulira Road in separate interviews said the presence of illegal immigrants in their settlement posed danger and appealed to the Government to intensify patrols.

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