Monday, 11 May 2020


THE government is facing a headache over the high numbers of Zimbabwean returnees from abroad who are now stretching available resources, the Daily News can report.

This comes as many Zimbabweans are now returning from neighbouring countries, such as South Africa and Botswana, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged the whole world.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Lovemore Matuke said the number of returnees was increasing and as a result the government was appealing for more donations in the form of food and other necessities to cater for them.

“The high number of returnees are straining us in terms of resources. However, it is our responsibility as the government to look after our people who are coming from outside the country. We are trying our best to look after our people.

“We are operating on very limited resources as you know that our economy is facing challenges. We continue to receive donations so that we will support our people coming outside the country.

“So far we have received around 3 000 people,” Matuke said.

Permanent secretary in the Information ministry Nick Mangwana said quarantine facilities were being overwhelmed by the returnees.

“As more citizens return from countries within the region, the government will make it its business to accommodate them in decent facilities, with minimal inconveniences experienced.

“The large numbers of returning citizens may result in stretched resources and facilities. Please bear with us.

“Government seeks to decongest overwhelmed quarantined facilities. Whilst government is doing its best to ensure that everyone is fed and have their daily supplies, including toiletries, partners will also make a difference,” Mangwana wrote on his Twitter account.

Returnees arriving in the country are subjected to a 21-day mandatory quarantine in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.

Mandatory quarantine is meant to slow down the spread of Covid-19 by ensuring that those entering the country are virus-free.

Where one tests positive to the respiratory disease, they are sent to an isolation centre and if negative, they are released to be united with their families.

In quarantine centres the government provides food for all returnees.

This comes as Zimbabwe is facing an acute food crisis with the southern African country battling massive shortages of grain, which have hit hard the supplies of the staple maize meal across the country.

In February, President Emmerson Mnangagwa revealed that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni offered to supply grain to the country.

To date, Zimbabwe has 36 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including four deaths and nine recoveries. Daily News


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