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Concern as increasing numbers of Namibians seek asylum in the UK

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The British High Commission in Namibia is concerned about the rising number of young Namibians going to the United Kingdom (UK) to claim asylum in search of job opportunities.In an interview with Nampa during a courtesy visit to State House on Tuesday,…

The British High Commission in Namibia is concerned about the rising number of young Namibians going to the United Kingdom (UK) to claim asylum in search of job opportunities.

In an interview with Nampa during a courtesy visit to State House on Tuesday, British High Commissioner to Namibia Charles Moore said many young Namibians have turned up in the UK this year claiming asylum to secure job opportunities.

Moore stressed that asylum is not for people looking for employment in the UK and Namibians are abusing the system, noting that at one point this year Namibia had the highest number of people seeking asylum in the UK.

The High Commissioner noted that the action by Namibians is not right as it blocks the asylum system, which exists to help people who are in real distress and which thus far has been working well.

“The problem is that because Namibia is a non-visa country, we are seeing a number of Namibians claiming asylum to get a job and stay longer in the UK, although asylum claims should be for people fleeing persecution, war, famine and conflict, amongst others. It is quite disgraceful because I can think of no rational reason why anybody from Namibia should want to claim asylum,” he said.

Moore also referred to the incident involving Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) councillor Rodman Katjaimo, who allegedly organised trips to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham for over 200 people who paid N.dollars 65 000 per person.

The trips however never materialised and allegations have since been made that the money has been misappropriated.

Moore said the British High Commission was not involved in any of the arrangements Katjaimo made.

“We were involved initially, only because we got an enquiry about the requirements. Actually we were very keen for people to go to the Commonwealth Games to support it and we were quite excited that there will be a group from Namibia going, but what we were not involved in is any of the arrangements that the councillor made,” he said.

Moore indicated that due to the increased number of asylum seekers, the High Commission has had close engagements with airlines to audit admission requirements or face charges if they transport people who are not admitted into the UK. This resulted in the first 51 people on the councillor’s list not being allowed to board flights to the Commonwealth Games and prompted police investigations.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency