Seven Chinese retail shopkeepers were declared prohibited immigrants by Presidential decree last month in Botswana.
According to a spokesman of the Botswana Chinese Chamber of Business Association, Bing Liu, the seven Chinese were rounded up by Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) agents and detained for several days before being deported.
"They were informed that the President had declared them prohibited immigrants and were told to wind up their businesses in seven days," Liu told Mmegi. "To give them a couple of days to wrap up their businesses after staying in Botswana for many years is unfair and insensitive." Although unbeknownst to them at the time, the seven - all of whom had lived in Botswana for five years - had had their applications to renew their work and residence permits turned down by the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as a prelude to their deportation.Liu said he had not had time to address the issue with the Office of the President. "This is a real concern to the Chinese community in Botswana," he added. Efforts to reach the chief consul officer at the Chinese Embassy, Jibao Niu, were not successful at the time of going to press.
Botswana government spokesman, Dr Jeff Ramsay, said he did not know about the issue and referred Mmegi to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship whose PR unit would not take calls from Mmegi.