Windhoek-The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration has revealed that more Namibians are entering into marriage with foreign nationals. The ministry recorded a total of 6,512 marriages from 2016 to 2017 and of that number 440 were of Namibians who married foreign nationals.
Between 2014 and 2015 home affairs and immigration issued around 890 identity certificates to foreign nationals who became Namibian citizens by virtue of marriage.
“We have picked up that more Namibian women are the ones marrying foreigners compared to Namibian men actually taking foreign brides,” explained the immigration ministry’s spokesperson Salome Kambala.
People from Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe top the list of nationals that are marrying Namibian women and men.
Kambala said that although marriage is a wonderful thing, some foreigners are taking advantage of young girls especially to get Namibian citizenship. She said that although Namibian women seem more keen than their male counterparts to marry foreigners, the ministry receives complaints mostly from women – that their husbands have disappeared into thin air after having tied the knot.
“Namibia is a peaceful nation, with a small population and unfortunately it has become a target for foreigners. That is why we are scrutinizing foreigners that are coming to our borders and into our precious country,” said Kambala.
Although citizenship requirements are strict and dual citizenship is not permitted, some foreign nationals are finding loopholes in the system to attain citizenship, she added.
“The easy way is simply to marry a Namibian national and one gets domicile by virtue of marriage,” said Kambala.
According to Kambala a thorough screening process is conducted before a couple is allowed to proceed with marriage.
“When a couple approach us they first go through a series of interviews where we ask questions in order to gather information such as marital status in Namibia and outside, and passport information. Once we at home affairs are happy with the answers and information gathered, only then can we proceed with the marriage,” said Kambala.
The ministry is working hand in hand with the Namibian Police Force (Nampol) because in many cases cross-border criminals are running away from their crimes in their native countries.
“We caution young girls to study their partners before they get married. Rushing into any marriage is not an advisable thing to do. Before you get married make sure that the person you marry really wants to marry you,” cautioned Kambala.