Immigrants using Zambia as a gateway to UK

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09 June 2005


Foreign nationals are using Zambia as a gateway to the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Zambia's Immigration Department deputy public relations officer Greenwell Lyempe said the department has noticed with concern that several nationals were using Zambia to get to the two countries.

"Some of these countries are Costa Rica, Bolivia, Mexico and Ethiopia. Nationals of these countries are not allowed to board the plane from their countries to the UK unless they have a valid visa to authorise them to enter UK. In an effort to elude this restriction some nationals pretend to come to Zambia as visitors and later buy tickets from Zambia en-route to the UK," Lyempe said

He said it was becoming a burden to Zambia they must repatriate these nationals back to their countries of origin when they are denied entry into the UK.

Lyempe further said immigration officers have been instructed to deny exit to all nationals that did not meet visa requirements to any country of their destination from Zambia.

"This is to avoid putting the burden on Zambia to repatriate such nationals in case they are refused entry to the intended country of visit," he said.