By Farayi Machamire
Immigration authorities say they have deported droves of illegal immigrants including British and Americans in a series of swoops around Zimbabwe.
One Egyptian national was repatriated after he attempted and failed to enter into a marriage of convenience with a local, the Department of Immigration in Zimbabwe said.
“The Department of Immigration has remained relentless in ensuring that foreign nationals visiting Zimbabwe comply with the country’s immigration laws,” the department said in a statement.
“Whilst Zimbabwe remains open for business, those inclined on seeking to abuse the system continue to be weeded out.”
A British national, Pearl Patricia Allen, 49, was arrested after she was found working for Global BP Solutions LLC whilst on a holiday visa
Allen consequently appeared before a Harare Magistrates’ Court on May 24 2019 and was convicted and sentenced to a fine of $200 or twenty (20) days imprisonment on charges of violating conditions of her immigration status and working without a permit.
Her employer, Global BP Solutions was also prosecuted, convicted on charges of employing a foreign national without a permit and sentenced to $300 fine.
“Pearl Patricia Allen has since been deported back to the United Kingdom,” the Immigration Department said.
Elsewhere, an Egyptian national, Hussameldin Ahmed Ali Ardelkader Elshikh, 28, was arrested on May 28 in Svosve, Marondera where he was operating a grocery shop.
“Investigations established that he attempted to secure residence in the country by entering into a marriage of convenience with a Zimbabwe citizen in 2019,” the department said, adding:
“When this failed, he proceeded to establish a groceries retail outlet posing as a tourist until the time of his arrest. He was deported to Egypt on 4 June 2019 after he was convicted by a Marondera Magistrate and sentenced to a fine of $200 or forty (40) days imprisonment.”
“An American national with Irish and Nigerian passports was also arrested on 17 May 2019.
OkoliSean Edward Ikem (32) was prosecuted on charges of entering and remaining in Zimbabwe without a permit. He was sentenced to $200 fine or 30 days imprisonment. He opted to pay the fine and was deported to the United States of America on 6 June 2019.”
The dragnet also swooped on Nigerian national, Michael Chibukoh Chukwukelu.
The 38-year-old was arrested in May during an operation to flush out illegal immigrants.
Investigations established that he was previously deported in 2011 after conviction but somehow managed to re-enter Zimbabwe by evasion.
Being a repeat offender, the Harare Magistrate court, was convicted and sentenced him to four (4) months imprisonment without the option of a fine due to propensity towards such crimes.
Under the same operation, two Chinese nationals, Wang Jinfan- female, 35, and Xu Penglai-male, 36, were apprehended by the Immigration Department’s Compliance Unit after they had turned a residential unit into a salon, barber, massage parlor and groceries shop.
They had been granted Temporary Employment Permit to work as GSM Technicias for Young Tech Engineering and Naldine Investments respectively, the Immigration Department said.
The two had also converted a garage at the premises to become a backyard shop with grocery items targeting Chinese buyers.
Their permits were cancelled and subsequently deported back to China. Zim Morning Post