By Mwai Nkhoma
Some Concerned Citizens in conjunction with a non-governmental organisation called Ufulu Wanga have penned the Mozambique government over allegations that some immigration officers are mistreating Malawians who travel to and from South Africa using her boarders.
According to the letter which has been addressed to the Mozambique Embassy in Malawi signed by Ufulu wanga program’s officer Paula Jimu Nyirongo the organisation has since asked the Mozambique government to ease travel of SADC citizens traveling within her boarders.
It says many Malawians traveling to and from South Africa are being victimized by Mozambican immigration officers and those manning the frontier.
Reads part of the letter, “we are saddened and disappointed with the treatment that travellers and specifically Malawians get when they are transiting through Mozambique when traveling to and from South Africa by road”
The letter further points out that among other things Malawians who travel to and from South Africa on the Colomne-Zobue -Cuchamano route are harassed and subjected to unfair treatment immigration staff and those manning the frontier.
“Whenever Malawians are traveling to and from South Africa they are forced to pay R50,00 on the port of entry or exit when they are using a new passport, pay up to R100.00 if the person overstayed in South Africa, Malawians are also accused of traveling with fake bank forex procurement receipts yet their receipts are genuine only that they are being pressured to be extorted of R50.00 or more as is the case in many instances and pay R50.00 whenever their passports has no endorsement of R3,000.00 money which an individual would use as he/she travels to South Africa” it reads.
The concerned citizens and the organisation has therefore called the Mozambique government through its embassy in Malawi to look into the matter “forth with” stop them from extorting money from travellers.
“We would have thought that there is an expected honest normal conduct from Mozambican officials and not the current unprofessional conduct that is centrally to immigration procedures in any sovereign country” it reads.
The letter also States that the organization and concerned citizens believes that SADC member state countries within the region have an obligation to ensure that they allow citizens from their sister countries to have an unencumbered access and transit within their borders albeit ensuring that the laws and regulation are adhered to.
“It is however very alarming that Mozambique immigration officers on this route always aims at reaping off Malawian travellers and shamelessly demand ungazetted laws and fines to be paid to them.
“This behaviour is targeted to all Malawians but those traveling on buses bear the brunt,” it reads. Among the documents submitted to the embassy includes video clip of officers caught on camera extorting travelers.
Meanwhile the Mozambican embassy in Malawi is yet to respond to the letter.