COVID-19 restrictions in Botswana left some Zimbabweans in Botswana facing imminent hunger, says local media
Botswana’s authorities are expected to deport additional 500 Zimbabwean nationals over COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the bordering country, country’s local media reported Thursday.
Some 500 Zimbabwean nationals will be deported from Botswana after experiencing hardships due to firm coronavirus restrictions imposed by authorities including a 28-day-lockdown and declaring a six-month state of emergency, leaving a number of Zimbabweans without jobs and in “imminent hunger”, the News Day website reported.
“The government of Zimbabwe should expect to receive 500 deportees from Botswana,” the website quoted a statement by Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Botswana Batirai Henry Mukonoweshuro, as reading.
“About 230 people have already surrendered themselves to the police and district commissioner in Gaborone,” he wrote.
“These were expected to be deported as of (Thursday) and more continue to register themselves with the embassy,” the ambassador added.
He urged the authorities in Zimbabwe to take proper measures to receive the deported nationals.
“It is recommended that arrangements be made by the relevant ministries and departments to facilitate the reception of these nationals at the border to prepare for their transportation from the border to the facilities provided for their quarantine,” he said.
Some of the Zimbabwean nationals had gone to Botswana for shopping after the lockdown became effective and were stuck there, according to the website.
The stuck Zimbabweans are now being screened at a “coronavirus command centre,” it added.
On Tuesday, 87 Zimbabweans were already deported, bringing the number of the deported from Botswana amid COVID-19 to 368, according to the website.
The virus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China late last year, has spread to at least 185 countries and territories. It has killed more than 138,000 people and infected over 2.07 million so far.