Govt to screen all foreigners countrywide

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Somalis in Ndola
THE Immigration Department says it cannot verify the purported influx of Somalis in Ndola’s Ndeke Township, but will conduct operations to screen all foreign nationals country-wide.

Following reports of an alleged influx of foreign nationals living in Ndola without valid permits, the immigration said they could only verify such reports by screening every foreign national and not targeting a single group.

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Immigration Department public relations officer Namati Nshinka said the screening exercise was aimed at knowing those that had valid documentation to either live or work in Zambia.

“The Immigration Department does not react to reports against a single group of foreigners, but always screens for valid permits for those living in Zambia,” said Mr Nshinka.

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He said it would be difficult to single out foreign nationals as prohibited immigrants (PIs) just by seeing them walk in numbers, but that his department issued various permits for those visiting Zambia from other countries.

“We issue various temporary permits to people coming to visit Zambia from outside, we issue work permits to those coming to work here and we issue study permits for those coming for school,” Mr Nshinka said.

He said it was one of the immigration’s mandates to conduct screening exercises regularly even before members of the public raised alarm over suspected PIs.

He said such screenings were conducted randomly in order  not to alarm would-be PIs and, as such, no specific date of operation would be given as the case had been in the past.

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