Zimbabwe refugees return home
the Government. I will not go into detail as to how I left the country and the reasons behind that but all I can say is that I really missed home and I could not continue to stifle the urge to return home until this opportunity was availed to us by the governments of Zimbabwe and Botswana,” he said.
Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu, who is also MP for Bulilima East, said Government would assist the returnees as they are reoriented into their respective communities.
“Those are our people and we have to find means of helping them. We have committees to look into what sort of capacitation they would need to be assisted. These are not small numbers and certainly they would be assisted. It is the responsibility of Government to assist them as they are oriented into the mainstream society,” said the Minister, who was in Plumtree yesterday.
Government has since last year been working to facilitate the return of the people who sought refuge in Botswana. Some of them claimed they were victims of political violence.
Former Home Affairs Minister Dr Obert Mpofu last year met Botswana’s Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Shaw Kgathi and the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Mr Edwin Batshu to discuss the issue among others.
After the meetings, Dr Mpofu then travelled to Dukwi Refugee Camp which is home to some 687 Zimbabwean refugees. Some of the “refugees” have lived at the camp, which is close to the border between the two countries, for more than 15 years.
He appealed to the “refugees” to return home as there was no reason for them to continue living outside the country.
Dr Mpofu said there was a new dispensation in Zimbabwe and “the situation has changed, and we will actually ensure that they come back home without any victimisation or retribution”.
He told the Chronicle at the time that they were apprised of the Government’s position on the matter, “but they were also keen on their personal security, especially after having lost their homes and were displaced and how the Government was going to assist them to re-settle”.
Following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State visit to Botswana in February last year, authorities discovered that nearly 700 Zimbabweans sought refuge in the neighbouring country during the 2008 general elections. — @ mashnets HEAVY rains accompanied by strong winds which pounded Beitbridge district in the last three days destroyed some buildings at the border post as well as many homes, a school and a clinic.
A section of the roof of the border post building that houses the arrivals section, customs clearing agents’ offices and bonded warehouses are among those destroyed.
The district civil protection unit chairperson Mrs Kiliboni Ndou-Mbedzi said they had assessed the damage and were compiling the costs involved.
She said they had also recommended that border workers temporarily vacate buildings which were partially damaged to avoid possible loss of life.
“The damage at the border post is extensive and during our engagement with border authorities we recommended that the workers vacate partially destroyed buildings pending further structural assessments by engineers.
“We understand that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority had since dispatched engineers from Harare to check on the damage,” said Mrs Ndou- MORE than 300 families who had illegally settled at Willsgrove Farm in Umguza District were left homeless after they were evicted from the property and their homes were demolished this week.
The farm is owned by MacDonald Bricks which was in possession of a court order to evict the families.
On Monday the families were given three days’ notice to move out of the property but they did not heed the notice leading to evictions being carried out on Thursday and yesterday.
A Chronicle news crew visited the farm on both days and witnessed a bulldozer razing down the remaining houses.
Property belonging to the families was dumped on the roadside along the Bulawayo-Gwanda Road. Most of the evicted families said they did not have alternative places to go.
Some of the evicted people yesterday said they had spent the night by the roadside with rains soaking them.
“We were given the eviction notice on Monday and three days later they are evicting us. We were not given a chance to find new homes. What would you do with a three day notice in this economy?” asked Mr Lovemore Chisale, whose property had been dumped along the road.
Mr Chisale fears that his minor child might catch a cold due to the rains while the family is in the open.
Another victim, Ms Siphetheni Maphosa (63) said what is traumatising for her is that the sheriff removed her property in her absence. As a result, she said, some of her property is missing. “After they removed my property in my absence they Mbedzi.
She said although no lives were lost at the border, two officers incurred minor injuries.
Beitbridge Border Post is arguably the busiest inland port in the Sadc region. It handles an estimated 15 000 travellers, 2 500 light vehicles and 600 trucks daily.
Mrs Kiliboni Ndou-Mbedzi said a total of 10 homesteads were extensively damaged in Mtetengwe, in Beitbridge East, while several others in Tshikwalakwala were damaged recently. She said some people were left without homes and food.
“Further, roof tops of the school and clinic in the area were partially blown off by strong winds. While we map the way forward in the meantime we are giving the victims water and sanitation facilities including buckets and soap,” she said.
Beitbridge East legislator Cde Albert Nguluvhe said businesses and members of the community should work together with other development agencies in assisting victims.
“I am out of town but have been in touch with the local leaders including the councillors on the issues on the ground. It is important that we all work together in helping all those who have lost valuables including their homes,” he said.
In separate interviews villagers from Mtetengwe said it was important for the CPU to increase awareness campaigns in communities on disaster and risk management issues.
“We are appealing to government through its agencies to increase education in the communities especially those susceptible to disasters during the rainy season.
“We are very fortunate that none has died since the start of the rainy season,” said Mr Ndanduleni Singo.
The Meteorological Services Department recently warned of violent rains in some parts of the country.
“Phululani Sibanda, Nelson Ndlovu and another suspect identified as Bruce teamed up and armed themselves with catapults, knobkerries and logs and advanced towards Lupaka villagers. They chased after the now deceased Brotherton Tshuma and his friend Elberson Dube. The suspects caught up with Tshuma and attacked him,” said Chief Insp Makonese.
Sibanda and Ndlovu had just returned from South Africa where they are based, a source said.
The source said during the attack on Tshuma, the assailants could be heard shouting saying mubambe (catch him) and ngikutshaye kwapontsha (I finished him).
Tshuma’s lifeless body was found on the side of the road by some villagers on Thursday morning.
A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of the suspects.
Chief Mabhikwa said he was aware of the recurring fights between the two villages but said he was yet to hear about latest incident.
Meanwhile, Chief Insp Makonese urged traditional leaders in the area to engage their subjects to find a solution to the grudges. She also warned members of the public against carrying dangerous weapons. — @ ncubeleon.