Government goes ahead with relocation of refugees despite deadline

Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma has said government will go ahead in implementing the relocation order of refugees and asylum seekers to go back to Dzaleka camp despite the deadline of April 15.

Ng’oma was speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday when his ministry met members of the Smallscale Business Operators Association from across the country who wanted an update on the relocation exercise.

Ng’oma said the government will continue with the exercise to take all foreigners residing in communities back to the camp.

“We want all those who have the status of a refugee to stay in the camp and not in communities,” he said.

Ng’oma further said that those who want to do business should obtain a business permit or working employment at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services at the cost of $7000 or else or they go back to the camp.

Ken Zikhale Ng’oma

He added that the government will soon start a headcount of all foreigners operating their businesses in rural and urban areas to see if they are eligible according to the laws of Malawi.

He, therefore, assured the business operators to be patient as the government is swiftly implementing the exercise.

Chairperson for the Association, Tennyson Mulimbula expressed hope following the assurance from government on the relocation exercise.

“We are convinced with the assurance from the government on the exercise otherwise members wanted to take the law into their own hands,” he said.

Mulimbula said allocation of funds to the exercise only shows the government’s commitment on the issue.

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