It appears some Zimbabweans are unhappy with South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to repatriate a large group of detainees from the Lindela centre this week.
Motsoaledi ordered the repatriations in response to an escape at the facility earlier this month.
Zimbabweans note the high number of ex-convicts repatriated
Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana has said that many of the returnees from South Africa are ex-convicts.
“Zim is expecting 18 buses through Beitbridge between tonight and tomorrow morning. These buses have 476 Zimbabweans deported from South Africa. A good number of the expected citizens are ex-prisoners. They are coming from different detention centres, some for documentation issues.
“These are mainly former prisoners; some have different histories from murder, robbery, fraud, housebreaking and documentation problems.”
Reports emerging from Zimbabwe claim that the offenders have been given a five-year ban on travel to South Africa.
There are fears that crime in Zimbabwe will spike if South Africa continues wholesale deportations.
Mangwana claims that 129 of the 527 repatriates who arrived on Saturday 9 May were ex-convicts.
“11 buses with 527 deportees have arrived in Beitbridge at around 1500 hours. One hundred and twenty-nine are ex-convicts. Mashonaland East has two people, Mashonaland Central four, Mashonaland West five, Bulawayo 101, Masvingo 100, Midlands 41, Manicaland 69, Matabeleland North 54 and Matabeleland South 64 and Harare 87. 7 of the 527 are females.”
Mangwana said that alongside the screening the repatriates would undergo there would be a vetting process to ensure that deported ex-convicts were not wanted for crimes in Zimbabwe.
“[The government] takes the security of citizens seriously. As [the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health] is doing Rapid Diagnostic tests, police and other security agencies are vetting ex-convicts to see if any are on their wanted lists before despatch their respective provinces,” Mangwana added.
Zimbabwe’s informal economy in ruins
The Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) has noted that the month-long lockdown has devastated the country’s informal economy.
“The informal economy has been the most active providing income for the majority of families. Access to disposable income is a daily quest to ensure that food is available among the mostly daily-wage-earners dependent on vending and other forms,” ZGC voiced their concerns earlier this week.
“The lockdown has largely shut down the informal economy affecting millions of Zimbabweans especially women and girls – who are the major players in the informal sector,” the statement further stated.
— The South African