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Botswana set to kick out Zim refugees – report

10 July 2014, 10:13

Cape Town – The Botswana government is reportedly set to repatriate Zimbabweans who sought refuge in the neighbouring country at the height of Zimbabwe's political crisis in 2008.

According to the News Day, Botswana's Defence, Justice and Security minister Ramadeluka Seretse said the situation in Zimbabwe was now stable and safe for asylum seekers to return home.

It is not clear how many Zimbabweans sought refugee status in that country, the report said.

The report comes as anxiety mounts among more than 200 000 Zimbabweans living in South Africa amid new visa regulations announced by the government recently.

Harsh economic crisis

At least 250 000 Zimbabweans were granted special permits in 2010 under President Jacob Zuma's administration. Most of these permits are set to expire late this year.

New Zimbabwe.com reported last month that the Zimbabwean government was keen to meet the South African authorities to discuss the possible renewal of the permits.

According to the new laws, Zimbabweans will have to return home to apply for extensions if they want to continue living in the country, a move that could see many losing their jobs.

Zimbabwe continues to reel under a harsh economic crisis with unemployment said to be as high as 80%.

Millions of Zimbabweans remain scattered all over the world, with many of them reluctant to go back home after President Robert Mugabe won the July 2013 elections.  

- News24


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