More Than 260 Zimbabweans Repatriated From Botswana, subject to inhumane conditions

MORE than 260 Zimbabweans, among them deportees have been repatriated from Botswana, they have been placed at Plumtree High School which has been turned into an isolation centre as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Botswana on Thursday deported 185 undocumented Zimbabweans into the country through Plumtree Border Post while 82 others who were legally staying in that country voluntarily returned home.

Both groups underwent Coronavirus screening and were taken to Plumtree High School where they are being temporarily kept as part of health measures by Government to contain the disease.

Coronavirus has so far killed more than 55 000 people globally with the number of infected having surpassed the one million mark.

According to Chronicle the place is not fit for humans especially during a fight against the pandemic, the ablution facilities are unhygienic, amid prevailing water shortages at the school, making it a ticking health time bomb.

The principle of social distancing, which is key in containing the spread of the deadly global pandemic, doesn’t seem to apply as two people are forced to share a single bed in the hostels and some of the beds have no mattresses.

Dr Hunda admitted that the hygiene conditions were poor at the isolation centre. He said they were working with the Department of Social Welfare and other stakeholders to improve the conditions.

Dr Hunda said they have since engaged Plumtree Town Council over the ongoing water crisis at the isolation centre so that they restore water supplies.

Mangwe District Coordinator, Ms Rorisang Makhurane said Government through the Department of Social Welfare is providing the returnees with food. She, however, said they were left with a week’s supply and appealed to their partners to chip in.

“Initially, we were informed that we would receive 110 deportees from Botswana, but the number increased to 185 and in addition to that we had 82 people who actually volunteered to return home and we are also staying at the isolation centre resulting in food shortages,” she said.

Ms Makhurane said the returnees will be placed in self-isolation until the 21-day lockdown is over.