Botswana deports Zimbabweans in COVID-19 crackdown

Botswana deports Zimbabweans in COVID-19 crackdown

from NDABENI MLOTSHWA in Bulawayo
BOTSWANA has deported more than 280 Zimbabweans as part of restrictions to curb the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Zimbabwean authorities have subsequently been quarantined the deportees in the border town of Plumtree, some 100 kilomtres west of the second capital of Bulawayo.

Dingumuzi Phuti, the local Member of Parliament, confirmed the 281 Zimbabweans had been quarantined at a local high school after they were deported from the neighbouring country.

He disclosed most of the returnees were from rural Plumtree.

“Most are without travel documents. Others are from other parts of the country,” the Member of Parliament told CAJ News Africa.

Botswana and Zimbabwe are both contending with recent outbreaks of COVID-19.

Botswana, which is in the middle of a 28-day lockdown, has confirmed six cases of the virus. One person has died.

Its eastern neighbour, Zimbabwe, has 11 cases and confirmed three deaths.

Zimbabwe, whose heath system is worse off, has embarked on a 21-day lockdown.

Botswana has over the years deported thousands of Zimbabweans that have entered the country having fled economic problems. Most Zimbabweans enter Botswana illegally.

Human rights groups have reported violations of the foreign nationals by Botswana security forces during the crackdowns.

This has coincided with tense relations at government level.

However, relations have improved since Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana assumed power in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

They succeeded hardliner presidents, Robert Mugabe (now late) and Ian Khama.

– CAJ News

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