THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS AND IMMIGRATION

THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS AND IMMIGRATION

Query: Why is the Ministry Home Affairs and Immigration being praised so much? We applied for our study permits and submitted our passports three months ago, but until today we have not received anything. It used to take two days to renew a study permit, but this year it is taking three months.

Response: The arrangements are that every year the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration dispatches a team of officials to issue study permits to students during the registration period at various educational institutions (Unam, Polytechnic and IUM) during the month of February. At this exercise, the process takes two days for endorsement and privilege given is given to the students from the said institutions. For those who have applied through the ministry’s counter, it takes 1-3 months for the outcome of your application and 2-3 weeks for endorsement.

Query: These are alternative facts in response to a recent media article in the Confidente newspaper volume 224, dated 7-13 April 2016, Opute Seeks To Rescue Osire. The article reported facts that are contrary to the truth and the ministry would like to present the alternative facts at Osire Refugee Settlement.



Response: Osire refugee settlement, which is a reception or residence settlement of recognised refugees and protected persons, or asylum seekers, is controlled by an authorised officer, who may issue a permit in writing to any person who is required pursuant to an order to reside in the camp, or in any other reception area specified in the permit. It’s the ministry’s sole mandate to protect and ensure that refugees and asylum seekers’ basic human rights are respected and to enable them to live in dignity and safety while helping them to find more durable, long- term solutions.

Refugee’s living status:

It is important to emphasise that refugees are critically dependent on humanitarian assistance and any other organisation is welcome to assist. Currently the living conditions and wellbeing of refugees,  particularly Osire settlement-based refugees’ living conditions, are as follows:

The camp is provided with basic services, such as water and sanitation, food is provided on monthly bases by the UNCHR, shelter, free primary healthcare, primary and secondary education facilities (a secondary school headed by a refugee principal), and a police station.

In addition, there is a garden to sustain inhabitants of the camp and the Ministry of Agriculture provides seeds and a ploughing tractor to the refugees every year, free of charge. Legally, the Act allows accordance to refugees lawfully in Namibia the right to engage themselves on own account in agriculture and to take up employment, provided they have work permits.

Although UNHCR has ended its operation in Namibia, UNHCR is continuing to monitor the Namibian refugee situation from the UNHCR regional office in Pretoria, South Africa, and is giving the necessary support to the government to ensure Osire is transformed into a real settlement.

As of current, 2 932 refugees are administered at the camp, while 277 are settled in urban areas.

Sakeus Kadhikwa is a public relations officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, Tel 061-2922169, 081-1253674, Email: sakeus.kadhikwa@mha.gov.na/ sakeus@gmail.com

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