New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Visa-on-arrival now available at Katima, Ngoma

Visa-on-arrival now available at Katima, Ngoma

2023-12-19  Correspondent

Visa-on-arrival now available at Katima, Ngoma

Marythar Kambinda


Katima Mulilo - The visa-on-arrival enabler was officially launched for the Katima Mulilo, Ngoma and Impalila Island border posts by home affairs and immigration minister Albert Kawana on Friday.

The facility is already in effect at three border posts in Namibia, namely Hosea Kutako International Airport, Walvis Bay International Airport, and Trans-Kalahari border post.

Kawana said this development will benefit the tourism industry in the country as a whole, and with the new border posts added, there is no doubt that the Zambezi region will be a direct beneficiary. This is because tourists from countries where Namibia has no diplomatic representation no longer need to apply for visas before coming here, or transiting through Namibia.

This decision follows earlier positive steps over the past years where the Namibian government exempted over 60 countries from visa requirements when their citizens visit Namibia for tourism purposes, added Kawana. “All three categories of passports, being ordinary, diplomatic and official/service passports, are accommodated for purposes of visas on arrival.”

He, however, clarified that this arrangement excludes people coming to Namibia for work or employment purposes, which obliges such people to apply and acquire employment permits in advance.

Kawana encouraged the use of cash payments because he said the ministry wants the money to be reflected immediately in the State Revenue Account. 

“This will avoid the temptation of 30 silver coins, as happened to Jesus. We do not condone corruption in our ministry, as public funds should only be used for their intended purposes,” he said.

He added that for a visitor to be admitted into Namibia, immigration officials are still obliged to make the usual background checks, including whether the individual is not a prohibited immigrant in Namibia, or does not appear on other blacklists such as that of Interpol.

The ministry, in consultation with relevant government stakeholders and other non-governmental actors will, therefore, continue to spearhead this process for the relaxation of the visa regime in order to enable the tourism sector to gain maximum benefits for economic and social development as well as promote employment, especially among the youth.

“However, in order to be successful and without compromising the security of our country, border agencies, including, immigration officials, police, customs and others need to exhibit high levels of professionalism, integrity and friendliness to our tourists and other visitors. 

From time to time, we take staff members for training on customer care management. But you still hear negative reports that some of the immigration officials are very rude,” he observed.

Kawana said Namibia is a product of international solidarity, as a number of countries supported the country with open arms during the liberation struggle. “Therefore, we do not want to hear those stories of mistreatment towards our visitors,” he continued.

It is thus time to start “whipping the rotten apples” in institutions, he stressed.

“If you want salary increments, where will you get it if certain immigration officials are sabotaging the economy of this country?” he asked.

Action will be taken without fear or favour, and that is a warning towards immigration officials, as unprofessionalism will not be tolerated anymore, said Kawana. 

“We will continue training officials, but remember that we are competing with other countries where tourists are treated humanely. The first port of entry within the country is with immigration officials,” he reiterated.

* Marythar Kambinda is an information officer for MICT in the Zambezi region.

Photo: Kwana

Caption: Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Dr Albert Kawana last week Friday launched visa-on-arrival facility for the Katima Mulilo, Ngoma and Impalila Island border posts. Photo: Marythar Kambinda 


2023-12-19  Correspondent

Share on social media