Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 100 foreigners have been arrested in ongoing operations targeting people living illegally in the country.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs Spokesperson Simon Peter Mundeyi says intelligence-led operations against illegal immigrants started five weeks ago and netted more than 60 people earlier, and an additional 55 last week.
Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs say that some of the immigrants are working in factories, shops, supermarkets and furniture shops across the country. There are those whose entry into the country is suspicious while others overstayed without renewing their work permits and other travel documents.
Mundeyi advises those who haven’t been arrested to swiftly work on their stay documents or work permits. He added that those arrested will be arraigned before courts of law, fined and deported. Each day, a foreigner who illegally lives in the country incurs a fine of USD 20 and those who have since been deported were fined for up to 90 days of illegally living in Uganda.
Agnes Igoye, the Deputy National Coordinator of the Trafficking in Persons Department in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, says some foreigners are smuggled into the country through porous borders and sometimes through gazetted borders like Malaba, where checks are often abused. This she bases on Ethiopians who were intercepted at the start of this month being trafficked into the country via the Malaba border point.
Col Godfrey Kambare, the Director of Citizenship and Immigration Control, has since directed security at all borders to intensify checking of foreigners entering into the country. Igoye explained that Ethiopians who were intercepted were heading to Beirut.
DCIC questioned why a person from Ethiopia going to Beirut would have to come to Uganda in order to catch a flight. Intercepted Ethiopians, according to Igoye, had planned to use Fly Dubai Airline.
Uganda has also arrested a Kenyan national identified as Linus Othieno with eight passports belonging to Ethiopian nationals. He had presented them to the Malaba border in Uganda for stamping on behalf of the Ethiopians.