Human rights activists have faulted the Malawi government for its policy of jailing illegal immigrants.
The condemnation comes soon after reports in the media that Malawi locked up 119 Ethiopian illegal migrants in its prisons.
According to a local non-governmental organisation, Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (Chreaa), the Ethiopian migrants were detained at Maula, Dedza, and Ntchisi prisons in central Malawi.
The centre’s executive director Victor Mhango told the media on Tuesday that the number of migrants in the country is worrying.
“The number keeps changing with each passing day as a week hardly passes without arresting these illegal migrants. These are all Ethiopians,” he said.
According to the Malawi Human Rights Commission, in 2014 Malawi arrested 702 illegal immigrants and in 2015, 707 illegal immigrants were arrested.
While the lucky ones were deported, others ended up in prisons. Mhango said many illegal migrants were arrested in the northern part of Malawi but he sympathises with the Ethiopians who have been detained for about two years now.
Recently, government officials told the media that the government is keeping the illegal foreigners in jail in good faith and has no funds to deport them at the moment.
They also promised to deport all those jailed as soon as funds are available.