Barely one month since 796 Zimbabweans were deported from South Africa to Zimbabwe for various kinds of violation of rules and laws, another 800 have been sent packing from the rainbow nation. This second batch are reportedly supposed to arrive Zimbabwe by train on the 26th. The Offence committed by some of these deportees have mostly been attributed to the violation of the immigration laws of South Africa. The first batch of deportees who reached Zimbabwe on the 3rd of June and the recent 800 hikes the number of deportees from South Africa to 8,750 for 2015 alone.
While the government of South Africa has made a bold move with all of the deportation acts, it seems the government of Zimbabwe has more pressing issues at hand as the consul general to South Africa Mr Mukonoweshuro revealed that the deportation processes have been concluded and that the deportees were expected to leave South Africa on Thursday and get to Zimbabwe on Friday. He said that they will be left at the National Railways station of Zimbabwe adjacent to the Government controlled Reception and Support Center which has the capability to cater for over 1000 people at any given time.
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He also revealed that there had been an agreement that women and children will not be deported by train as the men will be, but that they will be conveyed to their homes in busses, to reduce the amount of stress that is associated with train travel. He stated clearly that the train was introduced as a way of reducing the ever-increasing number of illegal immigrants at the Lindelani Transit Holding Center.
Mr Mukonoweshuro went on to plead with Zimbabweans who want to travel to South Africa to follow due process and to make sure that they go through all of the documentation processes so that they don’t have to always face the risk of deportation like these ones. He also reiterate the important things to be done for proper documentation and travel into SA saying – Those travelling with children must be aware of the new requirements for long birth certificates and the requisite affidavits is only one of the parents is travelling with the minor.
On the other hand, Beitbridge Civil Protection unit chairperson Mr Simon Mulleya said they have put systems in place that will enable them assist deportees in settling back into a going daily life in Zimbabwe.
“We put together a team of 20 officers from various government departments which will assist in documenting the deportees upon arrival. The deportees will be provided with food, accommodation and counselling, information on safe migration processes, medical treatment especially for those with critical protection needs and travelling warrants to their respective homes.
Furthermore, we are looking forward to a smooth repatriation process and are also working on a long-term solution to provide them with transports to their respective homes” he said.