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Botswana President Attempts to Resolve Dicey Work Permit Applications

President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama

Botswana's Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs recently called a meeting with concerned stakeholders following worries over delays in the issuing and increased rejection of foreigners’ work permits.

About 6,000 out of 16,000 applicants are Zimbabweans, which makes them the largest number of foreign permit holders in the country.

They have consistently complained about delays and what they feel are unjustified rejection of their applications.

The meeting was held at Botswana president Ian Khama's insistence. Labour and Home Affairs Minister Edwin Batshu was not available to spell these delays and rejection of applications as he was said to be too busy attending some state functions.

Zimbabweans, who spoke to Studio 7 said they fear that the Botswana government wants to reduce the number of foreign workers in the country.

Some concerned stakeholders like James Ndlovu and Dumi Ndaba of Zimbabwe said they were happy that the country’s president is interfering on this matter.

Ndaba noted that he was almost losing hope that he will ever get a work permit in Botswana.

Another Zimbabwean, Gracious Simulumbu, echoed the same sentiments adding that it is now difficult to get work permit in the teaching profession as the country is now preferring to employ own citizens.

Reports say there are thousands of Zimbabweans who are working illegally in Botswana. Most of them are political and economic refugees.