Some Zimbabweans living in Botswana currently faced with challenges due to the lockdown regulations imposed by the government in response to COVID-19 pandemic have sought assistance to return home.
Following their plight, both the Botswana government and its Zimbabwean counterpart, through its embassy are currently facilitating voluntary repatriation of such persons.
Since mid-April some Zimbabweans living in Botswana have been surrendering themselves to the police and district commissioners in their areas of stay. On April 16, 2020 more than 500 deportees from Botswana were sent back home. The immigrants were transported by the government of Botswana up to Plumtree border post where they were received by the Zimbabwean authorities according to a media release passed to Mmegi.
The Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation disclosed that both governments have since Wednesday, embarked on another joint exercise to aid Zimbabwe nationals who have requested to be assisted to return home.
The exercise is expected to end today (Friday) whereupon the immigrants will be transported back home by road.
So far, 200 were repatriated on Wednesday. The officials at the ministry
“The two governments recognise the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its far reaching adverse impact on livelihoods and are therefore committed to work closely together on the voluntary repatriation of Zimbabwean nationals as and when required.
The two governments are also committed to ensure the safe and humane repatriation of the concerned nationals,” read the media release.
The Ministry further stated that the government of Botswana continued to collaborate with other governments to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of their citizens from Botswana. Mmegi has learnt that more Zimbabweans continued to register themselves with their embassy locally.
Arrangements were also being made by Zimbabwean authorities to facilitate their reception as well as to prepare for their transportation from the border to the facilities provided for their quarantine.