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Obert Mpofu urges Zim refugees in Botswana to 'go home'

HOME affairs minister Obert Mpofu has urged Zimbabwean in Botswana to return home as the Gaborone government made it clear that people could not be refugees forever.

According to NewZimbabwe.com, Mpofu met Botswana's Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi and the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Edwin Batshu this Tuesday to discuss cooperation between the two countries, including the issue of Zimbabweans living in the country's western neighbour.

After the meetings, Mpofu travelled to Dukwi Refugee Camp which is home to some 687 Zimbabwean refugees. Some of the refugees have lived at the camp, which is close to the border between the two countries, for more than ten years.

Speaking in interviews with Botswana media, Mpofu said; "We had two hours meeting with them (Botswana ministers) in a cordial atmosphere.

"The engagements were quite open and candid, and I got to understand some of the reasons we have people in Dukwi. Most of them have been here for 10 years."

His appeal to the refugees, he said, was that they should go back home, as there was a new dispensation in Zimbabwe, "the situation has changed, and we will actually ensure that they come back home without any victimisation or retribution".

Mpofu said the government would "certainly do something to facilitate the repatriation of the refugees who choose to go back".

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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