Windhoek — The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration yesterday revealed it continues to battle the so-called 'marriages of convenience', mostly involving foreigners seeking to live in Namibia.
Briefing Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila who paid a familiarisation visit to the ministry yesterday, acting Chief Immigration Officer of the Department of Immigration Control and Citizenship Nehemia Nghishekwa said such marriages often end on a messy note because of failure to keep promises between those 'married'.
"These are people who come to Namibia and get married on a contract basis and we only come to know about it when there is a default in payments by the partner," he said.
The PM also heard that the ministry does not have accurate birth and death statistics - such as causes of deaths - but said it is working on a new system that it believes would be a game changer.
Home Affairs Director of Civil Registration Anette Bayer-Forsingdal briefed Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on this, saying it was due the fact that everything is done manually and typically when one collects data manually it would mostly likely contain inaccuracies.
"This is because everything is manually recorded from the ministry of health and only collect data from the ministry of health, not from private doctors, that is the problem," she said.
However, she said the ministry is currently working on a new system to capture this important information.
Nghishekwa said during the last financial year the ministry managed to install a new electronic management system at port of entries and also managed to introduce the e-passport.
He said that during the year under review the country received just over two million visitors, while just under two million left Namibia.
He said despite limited resources his department managed to remove 1,595 prohibited immigrants from the country.
Also, Nghishekwa said the ministry managed to print 77,873 passports, issued 6,408 work visas, 37,820 temporary work visas, 1,128 permanent residence permits and just over 6,000 student visas.
He said currently the country has over 7,684 asylum seekers and refugees with the majority being from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He said that refugees that are recognised are issued with identification documents and currently the ministry is working on the introduction of a refugee passport.
Also, he said, there are 922 Namibian refugees in Botswana, which has given those refugees two months to leave the country.
He said the Botswana government has invited Namibia to a meeting in that country on Thursday in that regard.