Query: Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs, clarify to all Zimbabweans why you are deporting everyone going to visit at Hosea Kutako International Airport? To my understanding Zimbabweans have 90 days to come to Namibia per year on a visitors’ visa. That is all being ignored now. Is it still about lack of water or xenophobia? Are the South Africans, Tswanas and Americans also being treated like this?
Response: The ministry needs proof of Zimbabweans being deported! Otherwise this will just be a vague allegation. The truth is that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration arrests illegal immigrants or those who overstay regardless where they come from.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration is guided by the Namibian Act (Immigration Act of 1993) under article 7 that a person seeking to enter Namibia shall before entering Namibia present himself or herself to an immigration officer at a port of entry and satisfy such officer that he or she is not a prohibited immigrant in respect of Namibia and is entitled to enter and to be in Namibia.
The ministry can only deport a person with illegal documents or who overstayed in Namibia. All persons from countries with whom Namibia has signed a Visa Exception Agreement are allowed to come to Namibia on a Visitors Entry Permit (VEP) for up to 90 days per year. It is up to the individual visitor to break the days into intervals of either two weeks VEP or one month VEP or 2-month VEP or exhaust 90 days at one go. If you go beyond 90 days, the law will take its course.
In short, the ministry does not only arrest Zimbabwean nationals who violate our immigration laws but each foreign national who becomes an illegal immigrant or who overstays while our police officers arrest those who commit criminal offences.
Query: Minister of Home Affairs, why do you have to ask for a work permit if a foreigner wants to marry a Namibian? I have a child with my boyfriend and we love each other and all that we want is to tie that love in the form of a wedding because his entry visa is expiring this month. Where can he get a work permit fit for marriage? Your strict rules will expose people to corruption. People could end up applying for study permits instead.
Response: The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration advocates that all foreign nationals who intend to marry Namibian citizens must have valid status in Namibia before their marriages (in case such marriages are to be solemnised inside Namibia).
Should they decide to marry Namibian citizens inside Namibia, they will not have domicile in Namibia due to the lack of valid status at the time of marriage. Marriage between a Namibian and a foreigner can only be solemnised in Namibia if the foreign national can provide a valid permit or visa.
Query: Minister of Home Affairs, what does a work permit and a study permit have to do with marriage? You did not marry your boyfriend because of that. Introduce marriage permits in your office then. Work and marriage cannot be linked.
Response: Kindly take note that all foreign nationals entering or residing in Namibia must be in possession of a valid permit/ visa. It being a work, study or visitors permit or visa. It’s only then will it be legal to marry a Namibian if you have legal status in the country.
• Sakeus Kadhikwa, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org