Saturday, October 24, 2020

Chinese immigration issue brought to Parliament

A Botswana newspaper, written in Chinese, has hit the local newsstands. The newspaper, which is being given away free of charge, circulates mostly at the Oriental Plaza, Broadhurst Industrial site- otherwise known as Gaborone’s China Town. The paper offers advertising space to Chinese insurance brokers, Chinese restaurants and other service providers targeting the Chinese community in Botswana.

Some Batswana, however, see the growing population of Chinese immigrants in Botswana as a problem and not a business opportunity.

The growing Chinese community in Botswana is already raising eyebrows in the corridors of power. Ngwaketse West MP, Mephato Reatile, this week asked Labour and Home Affairs Minister, Moeng Pheto, to tell parliament “how many Chinese nationals are in Botswana, and indicate the number of those in the construction industry and those in retail businesses.”

The official record reveals that 2826 Chinese nationals work in Botswana as investors, workers and immigrants. The unofficial figure, however, may be higher than that. The Botswana government is aware that the Chinese may be involved in illegal immigration to Botswana. Five years ago, former Botswana Ambassador to China, Walter Dube, presented facts and figures to the Botswana government, suggesting that Botswana may find itself facing a problem of Chinese illegal immigrants.

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