Mangwana, the Zimbabwe Permanent Secretary in the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Service noted that Hundeyin, while carrying a Nigerian Passport, sought asylum in Ghana and travelled to Zimbabwe with same papers.
The Zimbabwe government has explained why it arrested and detained a Nigerian investigative journalist and activist, David Hundeyin, at the Harare Airport on Wednesday.
Nick Mangwana, the Zimbabwe Permanent Secretary in the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Service noted that Hundeyin, while carrying a Nigerian Passport, sought asylum in Ghana and travelled to Zimbabwe with same papers.
Mangwana added that the journalist was therefore “promptly arrested, detained and deported.”
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that Hundeyin raised the alarm that he had been detained by the Zimbabwe government at the Harare Airport.
It had been reported that he was detained inside “a smelly locked room for nearly seven hours” according to an account the journalist by himself shared on his Twitter.
But he was later released and escorted out of the airport by the Zimbabwe officials.
Speaking on the detention, the Ziimbabwe Permanent Secretary, Mangwana tweeted, “It seems David Hundeyin while carrying a Nigerian Passport, he is seeking asylum in Ghana and those are the papers he travelled with. Unfortunately for him, Ghanians are not allowed in Zimbabwe without a VISA and he was promptly arrested, detained and deported.
“I am sorry that this journalist found himself in this situation. That said, we do have Immigration laws in our country that are obligatory to all prospective entrants, and no profession is immune to them. If someone’s travel document is such that they need a Visa, that law applies to everyone including “an award winning journalist”. Our laws are blind to social stations or attended achievements.
“Jaqui, since he has chosen to put all his issues out without making full disclosure, it forces us to give details we would have preferred not. But we realize this may affect how Zimbabweans are treated when they visit Nigeria so we are going give the information here.
“David came with Ghanaian Refuge papers claiming he was a Nigerian who was a refuge from his home country. His country of Asylum is Ghana after claiming to be running away from persecution in Nigeria. People in this category certainly need Visas to enter Zimbabwe. He wasn’t coming in to work as a journalist. He said he was just coming to visit but without getting a Visa in Ghana first. Other parts of his story were also unsatisfactory to the immigration authorities. He was considered not a candidate for entry into Zimbabwe.”
“The great fraternal relationships between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Zimbabwe do not preclude the nationals of either country from the inconvenience of meeting Visa requirements of either sister nation. You are not even sure whether he is even being treated as a Nigerian or another nationality.
“And it’s unethical for me as offices to discuss an individual’s live immigration case on Twitter giving all personal circumstances. What I can assure you is that by now I have already established that he failed to meet certain immigration requirements and entry was refused. That is as far as I can go. The Nigerian Consulate may be able to make the necessary interventions which speak to our historical and current relations. Good Night.”