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Africa is a continent that continues to face questionable leadership regime decisions with respect to free movement of people across regional borders.
In Southern Africa, the world has seen Robert Mugabe’s controversial ‘Indeginisation Policy’ coupled with threats to remove all foreign owned companies and investments from Zimbabwe, followed by the inhumane xenophobic wars in South Africa which led to thousands of foreigners losing life, homes, businesses and forcibly evicted from the country in fear for their lives.
Now, a most alarming development has arisen in Tanzania particularly for Kenyans who are victim to the Tanzanian Government’s latest crackdown on Foreign Nationals Without Both Work & Residence Permits, led by Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli.
Tanzania is an African state where there are reportedly just 680 foreigners who hold work permits,while a total of only 66 foreigners have submitted applications for residence permits.
Such a move by the government in its crack down on immigrants, raises great international concerns over the country’s commitment to free movement in the East African Community, arguably a community that clearly lacks a uniform binding policy for all its inhabitants.
It is clear that the African Union (AU), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community must look at rationalising the freedom of movement across African Borders by coming up with joint credible and practical policies to regulate the migratory activity , be it fleeing persecution, economic, in search of limited resources, resettlement, education or missionary work amongst many reasons. By Sibusiso Ngwenya
photo-reuters-Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli