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UN lauds Beitbridge readiness to process 200 000 repatriates


UN lauds Beitbridge readiness to process 200 000 repatriates



BEITBRIDGE- United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Zimbabwe, Edward Kallon was in Beitbridge to assess the district’s preparedness to hold and process 200 000 repatriates from South Africa (SA).
SA is repatriating about 200 000 Zimbabweans from June 2023 and will not be renewing Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEP).
Beitbridge District Development Coordinator (DDC) Sikhangezile Mafu, Principal Immigration Officer Moses Nyandoro, Beitbridge Town Clerk Loud Ramakgapola, officials from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other stakeholders interacted with Kallon.
Some of the pressing issues raised during the engagement are how children will be incorporated into schools and how orphans will be reunited with their extended families in the event that both parents are dead or missing.
Kallon told stakeholders that the UN is interested in ensuring the safe arrival of returnees to their destinations and his visit was to therefore meant to assess whether the border post will be able to handle the influx of deportees.
“We are here to assess the state of preparedness at Beitbridge Border Post in handling an influx of deportees. We also want to see how we can assist the local authority as we are interested in the safe arrival of returnees at their destinations,” said Kallon
He said that the US$300 million Beitbridge Border Post upgrade will also enable the smooth inflow and quick processing of repatriates.
Officials from the DDC’s office told Kallon that they are short on fuel, accommodation for repatriates with special needs and availability of emergency funds.
They also emphasized that the district has identified the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) Quarantine centre and Support centre to house 1 600 repatriates.
Beitbridge Principal Immigration Officer, Moses Nyandoro said they have started receiving returnees from South Africa in small volumes.
“As the Immigration Department we are ready to receive the returnees as many as they are. We have already started receiving some deportees and we are screening them to assess their economic and social stability. We also assist those who are not Zimbabweans to get back to their countries of origin,” said Nyandoro.
Ramakgapola said the Municipality is ready to receive repatriates from South Africa but however, they need more manpower and fuel to pump water.

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