Zimbabwean missionary violated immigration law – BI
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) confirmed on Tuesday that United Methodist missionary Tawanda Chandiwana from Zimbabwe had overstayed and engaged in political activities violating his missionary visa provisions.
Chandiwana has been ordered to leave the country, being the subject of a government intelligence report for his reported involvement in leftist-organized activities, according to BI Spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval.
The Zimbabwean missionary was taken into custody on May 9 in Toril, Davao, where he was attending a training seminar at the Mindanao Peacebuilding 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.”
Sandoval also revealed the status of Adam Thomas Shaw and Miracle Osman, who are also members of the United Methodist Church.
In a statement, Sandoval said Shaw has been in the country since 2011 and has admitted to have engaged in missionary works without a visa from 2011 to 2013. Shaw was granted a missionary visa in 2017, which expired on April 26.
Osman meanwhile was added to the BI’s watchlist on March 12 and ordered to leave on June 18. Shaw and Osman were instructed to submit their requirements in order to fulfill their order to depart the country.
The two have subsequently been added to the Bureau’s blacklist as well.
“Alien missionaries in the Philippines must be actually, directly, and exclusively engaged in religious work. They must not engage in any endeavor that is not consistent with their religious or missionary vocation,” Sandoval stressed.
Sandoval clarified that there is no crackdown of foreign missionaries in the country, saying, “In fact, there are currently more than 500 lawful missionary visa holders in our records, and we welcome and appreciate their presence, as long as the visa is not abused for purposes of joining partisan political activities.”/muf Daphnie Beltran/INQUIRER.net intern
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