A well-known Palapye businessman, who, ironically, was married to a Botswana Democratic Party activist, was this week deported under mysterious circumstance after residing in Botswana for more than seventeen years.
According to sources, the businessman, Ambrose Chima, who is a Nigerian, was deported this week after his attempts to get citizenship, work and residents permits failed several times.
The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs confirmed that the Palapye businessman was denied a work permit in Botswana after he was not cleared by security.
It is understood that, in the past, whenever he was denied citizenship and immigration documents, Chima was supported by Dikgosi and politicians and managed to stay in Botswana using the work permits.
Chima, who was a well-respected businessman, is understood to have been under the watchful eye of the Directorate of Intelligence Service for a long time, monitoring him after he was allegedly suspected to have been involved in human trafficking in Botswana.
Chima was among businessmen in the community who made donations towards the Motlakase Power Dynamos Football Club dream stadium a few years ago. He was also the team’s director.
The Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu, confirmed in an interview that he was aware about the mystery surrounding Chima and added that the Nigerian national had appealed to him after the Regional Immigrants Selection Board in Serowe rejected his work permit application.
The minister said that the Committee had raised issues in Chima’s application that touched on issues of security and added that he could also not grant him a work permit when looking at the circumstance that led to the rejection of the permit.
Without elaborating, Batshu said that many people had approached him complaining about Chima.
The minister insisted that as far as he is aware, Chima was not deported but was given time to leave the country peacefully.
“I am not aware that he was deported but I only know that he was to leave the country after his work permit was rejected,” said Batshu. “Usually if someone is unable to leave, the Immigrant officials can deport such a person if they find that a person is residing in the country illegally or without work permit. But I can promise that he was not declared a Prohibited Immigrant.
He stated that Chima still has a chance to apply for work and residence permits since he has children and was married to a Motswana national.
However, the minister said that he was not aware that Chima was kicked out of the country on the back of allegations that he was involved in human trafficking.
Reliable sources told The Sunday Standard that dikgosi and politicians tried to intervene to resolve the matter but it was too late.
His wife did not want to be drawn into discussing the matter, saying that she was not in a position to talk.