By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) confirmed that detained Zimbabwean United Methodist Missionary Tawanda Chandiwana is overstaying and was found to have engaged in political activities, a violation of his missionary visa provisions.
In a statement, BI spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval confirmed that Chandiwana, who is detained at the BI warden facility in Bicutan, Taguig, was also ordered to leave, being the subject of a government intelligence report for his alleged involvement in leftist-organized activities.
“Chandiwana was apprehended last May 9 in Toril, Davao, pursuant to a valid mission order from the commissioner,” Sandova saidl.
She said that upon inspection, it was confirmed that he is an overstaying alien as his missionary visa expired on April 6, adding that the alien has been working in the country since October 2016, but sought a visa only in 2017.
She stated that Chandiwana was charged for deportation for overstaying, and will be deported pending the submission of his NBI clearance.
His name has already been included in the bureau’s blacklist for overstaying, for engaging in missionary works without a visa, and for involvement in leftist-organized activities.
Sandoval likewise bared the status of American Adam Thomas Shaw and Malawian Miracle Osman, who are also members of the United Methodist Church.
According to Sandoval, Shaw arrived in the country 2011 and admitted to have engaged in missionary works without a visa from 2011 to 2013.
He was granted a missionary visa upon his return to the Philippines in 2017, which expired on April 26.
He was also ordered to leave for engaging in missionary works without a visa, overstaying, and for involvement in leftist activities.
Osman, on the other hand, was included in the BI’s watchlist on March 12 and was ordered to leave on June 18.
Shaw and Osman were subsequently included in the BI’s blacklist following reports on their involvement in leftist activities.
Sandoval stressed that aliens are not allowed to join political activities in the country.
“Alien missionaries in the Philippines must be actually, directly, and exclusively engaged in religious work and must not engage in any endeavor that is not consistent with their religious or missionary vocation,” she reiterated.