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'Illegal' Zimbabwe immigrants blamed over crime

08 December 2015, 19:03

Gaborone – Illegal Zimbabwean immigrants have reportedly been blamed for the worsening crime in Botswana, with police saying they arrested at least 722 Zimbabweans over the period from April to June.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, local police Chief Superintendent Oratile Setswalo, said 300 of those arrested were arraigned before customary courts while the rest were deported.

“We do not know how they manage to cross into Botswana but when doing patrols within villages and in Francistown we always arrest them in high numbers,” Setswalo was quoted as saying.

Zimbabwe's deteriorating economy has forced many to cross the border into Botswana and South Africa.

The two countries have attracted about one million Zimbabweans who are looking for greener pastures, the report said, adding that some of the immigrants were, however, engaging in illegal activities.

A district development officer in Botswana, Onkokame Mafoko, said the influx of immigrants had been a big worry for local authorities.

Mafoko claimed that some Botswana nationals were helping the immigrants in getting illegal documents which would assist them in getting jobs and living in the country illegally. 

Early this year, Zimbabwe’s state owned Herald reported that nine Zimbabwean nationals sustained severe injuries after they were whipped on the buttocks with switches by a chief’s security forces in Botswana for entering the country illegally.

A local tabloid the Voice also reported in October that local authorities arrested six members of a syndicate that was committing a series of robberies and break-ins in Gaborone and surrounding areas.

According to the publication the 6 men were Zimbabwean nationals identified as Thabani Nkomo, Ishmael Chamakaona, Zvenyika Mukanganise, Paul Sambadoti, Arnold Kadonda and Lovemore Mushidza.

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- News24


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