Return of the Mozambicans

Abel Karowangoro

Police have arrested hundreds of illegal immigrants in the streets of Harare and they are being held at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, Review & Mail can reveal.

Investigations by this paper show that there has been a huge influx of Mozambicans in the past two years, with most of them involved in businesses such as hawking and selling used clothes brought in from the eastern neighbour. In many respects, the new influx represents a return of the Mozambican who had shunned the country in the past two decades, after being a strong feature in the earlier two decades of independence.

 Now, they are flocking back, with a number of pull factors such as the lure of the United States dollar, and others fleeing South Africa whose economy is slowly imploding. South Africa, too, is nasty for its xenophobia.

The presence of these Mozambican immigrants engaging in such activities has sparked debates about border security and the economic challenges faced by neighbouring countries.

According to local sources, the Mozambicans involved in this informal business venture have been spotted in various urban centres across the Central Business District of Harare, particularly in bustling busy areas and streets. They are said to be selling a variety of sweets and confectionery items to locals and passersby.

While the act of selling sweets may seem harmless, the fact that these individuals have entered the country without proper documentation raises concerns about border control and the enforcement immigration laws.

Zimbabwean authorities have been alerted about the presence of these individuals and are reportedly taking steps to address the situation.

Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistance Commissioner Paul Nyathi told Review and Mail, that the Police as the law enforcement organisation are working hand in hand with other government agents if they found someone who seems to be a foreigner without required documents the law will take its cost.

“Anyone who is a foreigner in the Zimbabwe must have required documentation that allows them to stay if they don’t have members of the police will enforce the law,” Paul Nyathi said

 The influx of illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries, such as Mozambique, has been a persistent issue for Zimbabwe. Economic challenges and political instability in Mozambique have pushed many individuals to seek better opportunities across the border.

However, their undocumented status not only raises questions about the security of Zimbabwe’s borders but also creates competition in an already strained job market.

The informal economy, including street vending and small-scale businesses, is a significant source of livelihood for many Zimbabweans who struggle to find formal employment.

The presence of undocumented immigrants engaging in similar activities may exacerbate economic challenges for local vendors and traders.

It is crucial for authorities to strike a balance between addressing illegal immigration and supporting the informal sector, which plays a vital role in the livelihoods of many Zimbabweans.

However, officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zimbabwe Republic Police have reportedly intensified efforts to curb illegal immigration and enhance border security.

A close source from the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services whose name cannot be written because of the professional reasons told the publication that last week the Remand Prisons released 100 illegal immigrants who were deported back to Mozambique.

“On Monday 100 illegal immigrants were deported back to Mozambique.

This ones from Mozambique they started to come to Remand Prisons last month, over years that I have been working here we never look after illegal immigrants from Mozambique,” he said.

The situation highlights the need for regional cooperation and a comprehensive approach to tackle the root causes of illegal immigration.

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