Forty-Five Zimbabwean Nationals Repatriated

Maun — About 45 Zimbabweans residing in Maun have returned home following the joint voluntary repatriation exercise by Botswana and Zimbabwean governments.

Recently, the Botswana government embarked on the said exercise to aid Zimbabwean nationals who had requested to be assisted to return home.

According to a press release from government, the repatriation would be by road and Zimbabwean authorities would receive the returnees at the Ramokgwebana border as was the case with the recent voluntary reparation exercise conducted on April 16.

In an interview, Ngamiland District Commissioner, Mr Keolopile Leipego confirmed that out of the 89 Zimbabweans who had registered for assistance to return home, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship had managed to clear 45 who left on May 18.

He observed that a high number of Zimbabwean nationals showed interest in the exercise and hoped that they would be assisted.

Mr Leipego also revealed that one 60 year-old South African national who was in Maun was also assisted to return home over the weekend, adding the man was on a touring mission and he could not return home because of the extreme social distancing rule.

Meanwhile, some Zimbabweans who were assisted could not hide their joy and thanked both governments for aiding them during the difficult times of COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of them revealed that they were struggling as they survived through piece jobs and since the pandemic, life had become dificult socially and psychologically, hence they volunteered to return home to their families.

Ms Beauty Kawana, a Zimbabwean and staying in Botswana by virtue of being married to a Motswana and thanked both governments for the assistance, noting that her daughter was on lockdown in Maun while visiting her husband.

She said they the duo was struggling to make ends meet because the daughter’s husband depended on piece jobs.

Mr Calvin Jena, another Zimbabwean said going back home was a relief as there was no economic activity in Maun.

He however explained that his three-month stay in Botswana was a blessing as he lived happily under the guidance, mentorship and assistance of The Village Church leadership.

Mr Jena said he joined the church upon arrival in Maun, which changed his life for the better, adding that even during the pandemic, the church assisted him with food and other basics.

“I was warmly welcomed in Maun as a I found a home at church even though I struggled to find a piece job but I enjoyed the time I spent at church and I wish the pandemic could end so that I return to Maun,” he added.

Mr Jena who is a sport coach by profession came to Botswana looking for greener pastures but it was unfortunate as the pandemic cut his stay short.

Source : BOPA

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