Tanzanian authorities said on Thursday they have launched investigations into claims of assault and mistreatment by Mozambican authorities to Tanzanians who have been deported from the southern African country.
Mozambican immigration authorities have deported at least 187 Tanzanians since the beginning of the operation last week.
“We will use diplomatic means available to ensure we get the truth on the matter though every country has the right to send home citizens of other countries who are staying in that country illegally,” said Projest Rwegasira, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The government has started investigations into the matter to see if the allegations were true or false, Rwegasira told a news conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement this week that relations between Tanzania and Mozambique will remain cordial despite the reported crackdown on its citizens.
It is estimated that there were over 3,000 Tanzanians living and engaging in various social-economic activities in Monte Puez province where the deportation began.
Avod Mmanda, the Acting Mtwara Regional Commissioner, said on Wednesday some of the deported Tanzanians claimed to have been raped by Mozambican police.
Rose Mhagama, the Mtwara Regional Deputy Commissioner for Immigration, said reports reaching Tanzania indicated that there were more Tanzanians lined up for deportation.
“We have learned that they are being deported in batches,” said the senior immigration officer.
Some of the deported Tanzanians claimed that their property, including passports and money had been confiscated before they were put in custody for three days while in Mozambique.
Matilda Mwakipesile, said Mozambican police arrested her as she was doing her business and confiscated her money before they locked her in a cell for three days.
“I have been living in Mozambique for the past six years now. I was doing petty businesses, selling cold drinks and food,” said Mwakipesile. Enditem