Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
An estimated 3 000 Zimbabweans in South Africa will be screened at Beitbridge Border Post before being transported to quarantine centres across the country.
Initially, Government had planned to keep them in Beitbridge at various proposed centres, but changes were made this week following stakeholder consultations.
NSSA Hotel, which is being used as a quarantine and isolation centre for Beitbridge can accommodate only 400 people, while the two boarding schools, Zezani and Tongwe, which had been proposed to take the other immigrants can accommodate 250 and 280 each.
Beitbridge district medical officer, Dr Lenos Samhere revealed the changes to the local district development committee yesterday.
“The returnees coming from South Africa will now be screened and documented in Beitbridge before being escorted to their provinces as they come,” he said.
“Official communication to this effect will follow.”
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Lovemore Matuke said Government was mobilising resources to cater for the returnees from South Africa.
“Treasury has allocated resources to look after those people who are coming from other countries,” he said.
“Since the number is increasing we definitely need to increase the amount of resources to look after a more returnees.
“We need food, toiletries and even money to pay for bills such as water and electricity at the facilities where the returnees will be housed.”
Deputy Minister Matuke said accommodation would not be a problem since colleges in Masvingo can be used to house returnees.
He revealed that last week they had made arrangements with his South African counterpart to allow even those without the requisite papers to pass through.
Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Pretoria, Mr David Hamadziripi said they were yet to establish the exact numbers of those who will be brought home.
“We are yet to get all the figures and exact dates for transportation and you will note that we have just commenced the processes of seeking clearance from the government of South Africa,” he said.