Home » Governance » Government Takes Over Deportation Centres

Government has taken over the management of reception and support centres in Beitbridge and Plumtree where illegal immigrants deported from South Africa and Botswana are left, a senior official has said. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has been playing a leading role since the establishment of the two centres in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Ngoni Masoka said the development was with effect from January 1. He said at the moment they were in a transition period where IOM and Government were working together on technical issues until Government completes the takeover at the end of this month.

“Under the new arrangement, the reception centres will fall under the administration of the ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, with the Department of Child Welfare and Probation Services playing a leading role.

“The Department of Social Services will be responsible for vulnerable adult returnees while other line ministries such as Home Affairs and Health and Child Care will play complementary roles,” he said.

Mr Masoka the Ministry of Health and Child Care will be responsible for medical clearance support while that of Home Affairs through the police and department of immigration will be conducting vetting and registration of returnee migrants and deportees at the border posts.

He said IOM will move with its staff adding that Government staff was already on the ground.

“IOM has indicated it will maintain its presence in the country and they have stated that they are shifting their support to Zimbabwe from humanitarian to developmental approach in addressing issues of migration,” said Mr Masoka.

In most cases about 80 Zimbabweans are deported from either country per day for violating immigration laws or they would have finished serving time in prison for various offences.

The reception and support centres provide post-return humanitarian assistance to deportees including food and temporary shelter for unaccompanied minors so that they do not become stranded.

Source : The Herald