Mozambique expels 200 Tanzanians

Monday February 20 2017

Mozambique has thrown out about 200 Tanzanians, who are alleged to have been living in the country illegally.

Tanzania has said it is launching investigations into how its nationals were treated before being deported.

Major General Project Rwegasira, Tanzania Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs, said the government sought to verify claims of abuse, including allegations that the passports of some deportees were seized and torn. Among other alleged violations are rape and beatings.

Mozambique is said to have launched a crackdown on foreigners living in the country illegally, but the affected Tanzanians said they were the only target.

Earlier last week, Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Susan Kolimba urged Tanzanians to carry the requisite travel documents when travelling out of the country to avoid such problems. However, she said the government would make sure the rights of its citizens were respected.

Targeted areas


The crackdown was conducted in the district of Monte Puez in Cabo Delgado  Province, which is known to be home to more than 3,000 Tanzanians living among Mozambicans.

There are also eight Tanzanians being held in Malawi over allegations that they were spying on the country’s nuclear programme. The Tanzania government says it has nothing to do with the eight, whom it described as environmental activists.

Tanzanians have taken to social media to put pressure on the government to secure their release.

Unlike Mozambique which is a traditional friend of Tanzania with the latter having taken part in liberation struggle of the the Southern African country, Malawi has a history of fragile relations with Dar es Salaam since the 1960s over disputed ownership of Lake Nyasa, also known as Lake Malawi.

While Tanzania claims the border between the two countries is in the middle of the lake, Malawi say it owns the entire oil-rich water body.

READ: Tanzania, Malawi to revisit talks on ‘spies’ and border dispute

Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique are founding members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). However, the SADC Treaty does not have clauses governing movement of people within the economic bloc.

SADC has set up a panel of retired leaders to settle the border row.

The panel is led by former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano with former South African President Thabo Mbeki and former president of Botswana Festus Mogaeas members.