Philippine govt: Detained Zimbabwean missionary to be deported

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THE Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) indicated Tuesday that United Methodist missionary Tawanda Chandiwana from Zimbabwe had overstayed and engaged in political activities violating his missionary visa provisions.

According to BI Spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval, Chandiwana has been ordered to leave the country, being the subject of a government intelligence report for his reported involvement in leftist-organised activities.

The Zimbabwean missionary was taken into custody on May 9 in Toril, Davao, where he was attending a training seminar at the Mindanao Peace-building Institute.

“Upon inspection, it was confirmed that he is an overstaying alien as his missionary visa expired last April 6. He also admitted to have been working in the country since October 2016, but sought a visa only in 2017,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval added that Chandiwana will be deported pending the submission of his National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance.

Chandiwana’s name has been added to the Bureau’s blacklist “for overstaying, for engaging in missionary works without a visa, and for involvement in leftist-organized activities.”

“Alien missionaries in the Philippines must be actually, directly, and exclusively engaged in religious work. They must not engage in any endeavour that is not consistent with their religious or missionary vocation,” Sandoval stressed.