Immigration Directorate Picks Up 71 Foreign Nationals

1157 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Jacob Siminyu, the Public relations Manager Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control says the illegal immigrants include Nigerians, Pakistanis, Belgians, a Greek and Kenyan nationals.

The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control has arrested 71 foreign nationals with fake work permits and expired visas in an impromptu operation in selected areas in Kampala. The operation which started in the morning hours and spilled over into the afternoon covered areas of Nabugabo road, Kiseka Market and Car bonds along Jinja Road. Yuasa, a car bond House along Jinja road registered the highest turnover of illegal immigrants as 17 Pakistani employees were picked for lack of proper travel documents. 

Many of the suspects claimed to have left their documents home but failed to raise relatives to avail them to the immigration officials. Jacob Siminyu, the Public relations Manager Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control says the illegal immigrants include Nigerians, Pakistanis, Belgians, a Greek and Kenyan nationals. He says the directorate had embarked on a rigorous operation to arrest foreigners without proper immigration papers such as Working Visitors’ passes, Visa and those working in places other than the ones for which the permit was granted.

Siminyu says the suspects will be screened and penalized in accordance with the laws, while others will be prosecuted and deported. According to Immigration laws, a foreigner is expected to pay USD100 daily for all the days they have stayed in the country illegally. He urged all foreigners to always carry their documents whenever they are moving to avoid being caught on the wrong side of the law. James Diing, a South Sudanese national who was picked up during the operation complained that he wasn’t given ample time to pick his passport, which was 20 meters away from where he was found.

Diing said he was surprised at the manner he was treated despite the fact that he is in Uganda legally. However Siminyi dismissed the complaint saying the standard practice is for foreigners to always carry documents with them. Asked why Uganda has one of the highest numbers of illegal immigrants in the regions, the public relations boss said they lack capacity to fully handle the matter, which he blamed on the tight budget of the directorate. He said with increased funding they can contain the situation.