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Among the foreigners who arrive in Mozambique every day are Malawian citizens, who leave their country of origin because of economic crisis and extreme poverty.
Some spend four to five days on Mozambican soil in deplorable conditions, lacking even the minimum conditions to meet basic needs. They go several days without eating, don’t shower, and sleep in inappropriate places.
Lack of funds to the authorities
Diamantino Gumissane, from the Provincial Directorate of Migration in Tete, explains that the state has immense difficulties even repatriating these citizens.
“The costs are high, taking into account that there is no budget or even heading for foreign repatriation actions at the level of the Provincial Directorate of Migration. It’s a painful exercise,” he says.
For example, just last week the immigration authorities in Tete repatriated close to 40 Malawians who lacked the appropriate documentation for entering the country.
“The Mozambican authorities should start looking at border surveillance in a slightly bolder way,” says social activist António Zacarias, who hints at corruption on the part of officials, who allow these foreigners to enter illegally, to the detriment of both the Mozambican state and the immigrants themselves.
“We have to stop sending to the border points agent whose job it is, at the end of the day, to make money for the boss who sent him there,” Zacarias says.
Interviewing Malawian immigrants about to be repatriated, DW heard over and over the same complaint: “The conditions here are terrible, we don’t eat or shower.”
“I come from Malawi, but there is no money there and our currency has depreciated a lot, there is nothing to eat,” one immigrant complained.
Every month, the province of Tete repatriates about 500 illegal immigrants, all of whom experience the same trajectory.