Yes, Zambia has been experiencing a steady stream of illegal immigrants in recent years and their numbers have been soaring in our communities while space is becoming smaller.
And yes, there are many genuine foreign nationals coming into the country searching for peace and tranquility as well as business opportunities.
It is also a notorious fact that many are in Zambia for all the wrong reasons and there is need to check them.
Without doubt the political stability and peace Zambia has been enjoying since independence has attracted many foreign nationals, most of whom are fleeing from civil strife and conflict from their countries.
What has been worrying however is the fact that most of the immigrants have been averting Zambia’s immigration regulations when entering the country and only begin looking for documents while already in the country.
A warren of roads along our not so well manned borders have provided their illegal entry into the country which has not only posed a security risk but has also exposed how porous our borders have become.
The action by a combined team of the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) police and other security agencies to clean up Chaisa community known to have been a haven of many foreign nationals most of them from Somalia should become a routine exercise if the country has to rid itself of illegal immigrants.
Of course we know that many of them are genuine and have followed the country’s immigration regulations but it is important that authorities ensure that only authentically documented foreign nationals are allowed to stay in the country.
But we probably should not blame the foreign national illegally living in the country because these people are in the communities where we are and we have not heard any citizen raising a red flag against illegal immigrants even when they are well known.
These people may not have anywhere to run to and we certainly feel for them especially that Zambia has been home to many immigrants and refugees.
But it is important that we should be security conscious because not every foreign national is a good citizen.
There are a lot of illegal businesses being conducted by these foreign nationals such as peddling illicit drugs and we hope those that have been arrested will go through thorough screening.
There has been an increase in crime in our communities and we do hope that the clean-up exercise that was conducted yesterday Chaisa should be extended to other Townships.
In fact we would want to see the authorities widen their operations to other provinces because so far, this has only happened in Lusaka’s Chibolya and Chaisa communities.
We commend the action by our security agencies for their bold action because some of the foreign nationals have been taking advantage of the hospitality accorded to them to get involved in criminal activities.