Query: This serves to present alternative facts on a recent media article in the New Era newspaper of 31 March 2016, with the caption “Immigrants deported last year … expert says citizens’ safety at stake” with comments from “immigration expert and retired commissioner for refugees Nkrumah Mushelenga.”
Response: While the article reported facts as presented by the minister in her budget speech, the comments by Mushelenga seem to suggest that the country receives illegal immigrants.
His comment is contrary to the truth. The fact is that the majority of illegal immigrants came to Namibia with visas and were granted lawful entry, with a specific number of days they are allowed to stay in the country. However, they overstayed their visas and/or permits leading to their arrests. It is not factual to state that “the safety of citizens is at stake,” and “illegal immigrants pose security threats to local citizens.” Such comments are not only insensitive but have the potential to create a tense atmosphere between the citizens and immigrants, some of whom are making a great contribution to our economy. The state has the machinery to deal with any threat to Namibia.
- Sakeus Kadhikwa, the Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org