Windhoek – The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration attends to at least three cases of women looking for their runaway foreign husbands each week, revealed Salome Kambala, the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.
Countless women in Namibia have had their hearts broken by some foreign husbands who hoodwinked them into making nuptial vows only to dump them soon after they have conveniently secured Namibian citizenship that gave them access to well-paying jobs and other economic opportunities.
“This problem has increased especially since 2006,” Kambala said in an interview with New Era last week, cautioning Namibians, especially women, to be careful before agreeing to marriage with their foreign lovers without really knowing them.
“It’s really worse,” said Kambala who could not provide New Era with statistics. “Women must not sell themselves to foreigners. They must believe in themselves, that God created them for a purpose other than selling themselves to foreigners,” she added.
Statistics from the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court indicate that from 01 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 there were 520 marriages in the Windhoek court. This year, as from 01 January to 31 October there were 541 marriages in court.
However, the magistrate’s office could not separate how many of those involved Namibians married to foreigners and instead referred New Era to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration which could not provide these statistics despite numerous attempts last week.
Kambala, however, mentioned that women are most vulnerable to be married for the purpose of citizenship. Young women who are languishing in poverty and those with serious financial problems are easy targets of men with intentions to marry solely for citizenship, added Kambala.
“There are so many complaints of girls looking for their husbands who disappeared upon receiving their marriage certificate,” added Kambala.
She also explained that before “the marriage is blessed a certificate of clearance is issued”. This means that the ministry does background checks to assess if the foreigner is not married in their country of origin.