Over 1,050 aliens have voluntarily returned to their respective countries of origin between July 29 and August 8, this year, Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Fabian Massawe has disclosed.

He said that the registration of illegal immigrants is being conducted at Kabanga and Rusumo in Ngara District, adding that authorities in Kagera Region have completed all necessary logistics needed to allow the illegal immigrants leave the country.

Reports from Karagwe, Ngara, Kyerwa, Biharamulo and Muleba districts said hundreds of illegal immigrants have left following President Jakaya Kikwete’s directive.

Kagera Regional Immigration Officer, Mr George Kombe, said according to a census conducted in 2006, the region had a total of 32,000 illegal immigrants from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Mr Kombe said during an operation conducted last year in all seven districts of Muleba, Bukoba, Biharamulo, Ngara. Karagwe, Kyerwa and Misenyi, a total of 22,100 aliens were rounded up.

“Some of the aliens were repatriated while others were issued temporary resident permits. However, there was still a big number of illegal immigrants hiding in various villages,” he said.

He named entry points as Murongo in Karagwe district, Rusumo and Kabanga in Ngara district, Mtukula, Bugango and Kanyigo, in Misenyi District. During his recent tour of Kagera Region, President Jakaya Kikwete issued a strong warning against individuals who illegally own firearms and directed authorities to ensure the culprits surrender weapons within two weeks.

President Kikwete’s warning comes in the backdrop of an incident whereby a group of armed bandits ambushed buses along Muleba-Biharamulo Road and robbed passengers of their possessions.

“We cannot allow Tanzanians to be terrorised by few criminals, “ he said, adding that the government will soon conduct an operation involving the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF), Police, Immigration and Intelligence Unit to confiscate firearms.

The operation covers the three regions of Kagera, Geita and Kigoma. The president also challenged the Immigration Department to ensure that the screening of foreigners who are hiding in villages is conducted thoroughly.

He warned that if the exercise is not done carefully, Tanzania would face an enormous task after 50 years. He noted that some of the leaders, including Village Executive Officers (VEO), Ward Executive Officers (WEO) and councillors had turned themselves into immigration officers and issue resident permits to aliens who do not qualify for them.

“Illegal issuance of resident permits is done in broad daylight and leaders in this region turn a blind eye. This is corruption and your services are bought at a very low price and the aliens know this. This is why the number of aliens keeps rising,” the president said.

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