POLICE have arrested 86 Malawi nationals found hiding at a house in Murewa, Mashonaland East province.
According to a police memo seen by NewsDay, the group, which comprised 76 males and 10 females, illegally entered the country via the Nyamapanda Border Post en-route to South Africa.
It is reported that on August 15 at around 8pm, police received a tip-off that there were Malawi nationals at a house in Murewa.
Police immediately reacted and found the illegal immigrants in a room of a house belonging to Victor Taurayi.
The foreigners were arrested and charged under section 29(1)(a) of the Immigration Act [Chapter 4:02].
Police, however, failed to locate Taurayi, whose truck was allegedly ferrying the foreigners. He faces a charge of human trafficking.
Meanwhile, the European Commission’s humanitarian arm has introduced a 12-month programme for post-arrival assistance to returning Zimbabwean migrants.
It is expected that 33 000 migrants will benefit from the project.
In a statement, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said the programme would monitor migrant flow trends through data collection and analysis to understand their mobility dynamics and population movements in the region.
The project targets main border posts such as Beitbridge, Plumtree, Forbes and Chirundu.
“Activities will also take place at inland mobility corridors including Masvingo, Bulawayo, Chimanimani, Mutasa, Chipinge, Kariba and Karoi, where IOM has presence,” the statement read.
The programme will be implemented in partnership with several ministries such as Home Affairs and that of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to assist returning migrants.
Migrant information will be collected in collaboration with the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.
IOM Zimbabwe chief of mission Mario Lito Malanca said: “It is important for member States to map and study how migration affects development and vice-versa at community level.”