The Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) is against the deportation of Angolans without proper documentation from Namibia, saying their country welcomed Namibians with open arms during the liberation struggle.
It is now Namibia’s time to return the favour, the party argued on Tuesday in the National Assembly.
The criticism was directed at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security and by extension its minister, Frans Kapofi.
NEFF leader Epafras Mukwiilongo was reacting to reports that the police last week deported Angolan nationals from Oshakati and Ondangwa back to their country.
He said among those deported is a Kwanyama-speaking person and Mbadja-speaking person whom he referred to as “our own people living close to the borders”.
He further said these are people trying to make a living by selling small items like fruit and vegetables and are not involved in illicit activities.
“Let me remind you that you yourself [Kapofi] and some of your colleagues, including myself, those years during the liberation struggle, we never heard of our people being deported from Angola to Namibia,” he said.
According to the NEFF leader, other people who are in Namibia illegally are not subjected to the same treatment as Angolans.
“The Chinese are living here without proper permits. Especially those selling building materials, some came here with the intention of selling small items like clothing and small products but later you find that they are selling building materials, but you never hear of them being deported or questioned by the police,” he charged.
In response, Kapofi said:
“These people are violating their own laws. The same is for the Namibian people currently going into Angola, if you find yourself on that side now, you get arrested. The problem is their borders are closed and we understand that they are coming to Namibia for survival, but because of the nature of they they come in, they have to return.
They cannot be left like that because even their own country feels that we are the ones allowing people to violate their border rules.”
He emphasised that the deportation is not done because the government hates Angolans, but because of the two countries’ border laws.
Kapofi further alleged that some Namibians lure people from Angola to come to Namibia to work in their fields or as cattle herders.
Money is involved in this process, and as such it amounts to human trafficking, he said.
He further rubbished claims that Chinese nationals are given preferential treatment by the authorities.
“We have records of several Chinese nationals who have also been deported,” he said.