Zimbabwean immigration to fine airlines

The Zimbabwean government through its immigration department has indicated that it will fine airline operators US$2 000 for every passenger brought into the country without the necessary papers in a bid to curb criminal activities.\r\n

A notice published recently in the Government Gazette, signed by the two Home Affairs Co-Ministers Theresa Makone and Kembo Mohadi, in terms of the country’s Immigration (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (No.2) states that: "a non-complying passenger means a person who enters Zimbabwe without a valid travelling document on board an aircraft operated by an air carrier, in terms of section 38A of the Act."

Before the regulations came into effect, the immigration authorities could only arrest the “non-complying passenger” before deporting them while the current regulations will require that the said passenger through the responsible airline would pay fine to an immigration officer, then be deported.

Assistant Regional Immigration Officer Mr Evans Siziba recently told a local paper that: "This clause was already contained in the Immigration Act and could not be enforced because we did not have regulations to do that," he said.

The development comes at a time when the world intensifies measures to reduce cases of human trafficking which has become rife among African countries.

Zimbabwe has in the past deported several foreign nationals mainly from China, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Nigeria while no airline has been found with non-complying passengers recently.

It is reported that some airline crew were conniving with human traffickers to smuggle human into the country without the knowledge of the airline owners.