Monday, 20 April 2020

WE ARE NOT FORCIBLY DEPORTING ZIMBAS : BOTSWANA


The Botswana government has denied social media reports that it was forcefully repatriating Zimbabwean nationals in that country as a precautionary measure against the spread of Covid-19.

In a statement, Gaborone said it had noted with deep concern the misinformation and distorted reports on social media platforms regarding alleged forceful repatriation of Zimbabweans.

Instead, Botswana said on 16th April 2020, 255 Zimbabwean nationals were voluntarily repatriated from Botswana by road and received by Zimbabwean authorities at the Ramokgwebana Border Post.

Their repatriation request was in view of the nation-wide lockdown imposed by the Botswana government.

The repatriated nationals were put in mandatory quarantine for 21 days upon returning to Zimbabwe. “The assertion being made is completely inaccurate,” the Botswana government said. 

“The fact of the matter is that the recent repatriation exercise was undertaken jointly with the government of Zimbabwe, following requests from Zimbabwean nationals who wanted to be assisted to return home amid the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown measures put in place.”

It added: “In appreciating the consequences of the lockdown on movement restrictions and in keeping with the spirit of the exercise, none of the repatriated individuals was charged for breaching immigration rules.”

Gaborone said the two Southern African neighbours remained committed to working closely together in responding to the Covid-19 outbreak to mitigate its impact on both countries, as well as, on the livelihood of their nationals.

“In this context, the two countries will continue to collaborate and coordinate voluntary repatriations when necessary.”

Botswana was also working with other governments to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of their citizens from Botswana. New Ziana

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