By Elezo Libanda
Katima Mulilo, Aug. 18 – The Zambezi Region is currently grappling with a significant influx of illegal immigrants, primarily from Zambia and Zimbabwe. This surge in illegal immigration has led to a surge in crime rates, as undocumented immigrants resort to theft and other criminal activities to survive.
During a recent visit, the Chief of the Namibian Police, Inspector General Lieutenant General Joseph Shikongo, expressed confidence that law enforcement could bring the rising criminal activities under control. However, it has proven challenging for officials to tackle this issue, attributed in part to the presence of numerous unmonitored and unofficial entry points commonly used for smuggling.
Foreign nationals, often assisted by Namibian citizens, are engaged in various smuggling activities, including transporting fuel, maize, and vegetables for resale in and around Katima Mulilo. Some even take advantage of the Zambezi River, using canoes to cross illegally, both at night and in broad daylight.
During observation at the Zambezi River, specifically at a location known as “Stone City,” numerous individuals were observed crossing between the two countries. Despite the official Katima Mulilo border post being nearby, exchanges of goods and transactions between citizens from both countries were evident.
The situation calls for increased manpower, particularly at historically known illegal crossing points that are linked to criminal activities. However, due to limited resources available to law enforcement, the trend of illegal immigration and criminal actions might persist. As some individuals are reported to have breakfast in Katima Mulilo and supper in Sesheke, this ongoing issue underscores the need for collaborative efforts between neighbouring countries to address illegal immigration and its associated challenges. – Namibia Daily News