NYAGATARE — Ephraim Kabaija, the Eastern Province Governor has criticised Nyagatare district leaders for failing to clamp down on illegal immigrants that take advantage of porous borders.
While visiting Kizinga, one of the points used by undocumented immigrants, this Wednesday, the governor said authorities had resolved to tighten on illegal movements across the border, but local leaders had failed to implement the policy.
Kizinga crossing point is located in Rwemaisha sector on the Rwanda-Uganda border. He cautioned all local leaders, migration officials and the police against taking the country’s sovereignty for granted.
“People coming in and going out of the country must follow the rules and regulations governing immigration and emigration. Our country has immigration and emigration laws that govern it, we don’t want cross-border movements without using recognised borders,” the governor said.
He asked district leaders to encourage residents to use recognised frontiers and take serious action against people who abuse the migration procedures. The recognized borders points with Uganda in Nyagatare district are Kagitumba and Buziba.
Kabaija noted that illegal crossing points have led to smuggling of goods into the country from Uganda and transmission of cattle diseases in the country.
“You can see, cows and vehicles carrying merchandise pass here and end up in Nyagatare town, yet the district report indicates that this border was closed,” he said pointing at the tyre marks along the Kizinga Bridge.
These illegal borders will not stop with just diseases out break and smuggling of goods but they can give way to rebels and other people who are against the country’s development, he warned.
In response, Robert Kashemeza, the district Mayor who had accompanied the governor reaffirmed his commitment to crack down on illegal immigrants by working with other district authorities.
He gave a period of one week to tackle the problem. The Governor was accompanied on the tour by army, police, and other district and provincial officials.