The Former and Current Rwandan Refugees Association in Zambia has condemned and dissociated itself from the manufacturing of fake consumable products by suspected Rwandan nationals.
Cedric Habimana, the Association President in a statement issued in Lusaka on Sunday, was reacting to the recent incident in which a Rwandese national was nabbed for repackaging 33 by 50 Kilogrammes bags of Kafue Industrial Sugar in two kilograms of Zambia Sugar counterfeit packages.
Habimana is appalled by the lack of concern about people’s health safety in the pursuit of higher profits through unethical and criminal practices by suspected Rwandans who come into Zambia as investors.
He said the news and images seen are not only disturbing, but also spoil the good image and the good relations that Rwandan refugees in Zambia have had with their Zambian host communities for close to 30 years.
Habimana has clarified that not all Rwandans living in Zambia are of the same status saying on one hand there is a large group of Rwandans made up of genuine refugees who have sought asylum in this country since early 1990’s.
“On the other, there are individuals who are lately seen flocking into Zambia with Rwandan passports on claims of pursuing investment opportunities and some of these new comers are state sponsored while others are privately funded,” Habimana said.
He said the use of unethical business practices could be another attempt to agitate the local people and turn them against innocent refugees knowing very well that the Zambian citizens are unable to distinguish refugees from the Rwandan investors.
“However, we are aware of the tactics and campaigns the government of Rwanda employs either to constrain countries hosting refugees to remove protection and care for refugees, or instil a climate of hate between local citizens and refugees so as to create a ripe environment for reprisals and violence against vulnerable refugees,” Habimana said.
Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security Commissioner for Refugees, Professor Prosper Ng’andu, has applauded former and current Rwandan Refugees in Zambia for disassociating themselves from those allegedly engaging in illegal business activities.
Ng’andu is pleased with the stance taken by the Association to distance itself, and rebuke suspected Rwandan nationals engaged in illegal manufacturing of unhealthy edible goods.
The Commissioner said government will not tolerate illegality from Refugees and other Persons of Concern (PoCs) and urged all refugees and PoCs to abide by the laws of Zambia as well as respect the host community.
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