400 deportees from Botswana arrive in Bulawayo

Male returnees wait to receive clothing from officials (file pic)

BULAWAYO has received about 400 deportees from Botswana who have been moved from their previous quarantine centre, Plumtree High School to provide them with better living conditions and ease crowding.

The deportees, from across Zimbabwe started arriving in buses yesterday afternoon. Some were housed at Bulawayo Polytechnic while others are lodged at the United College of Education (UCE).

When the Chronicle arrived at the quarantine sites, a total of 120 people had arrived at Bulawayo Polytechnic while about 100 were said to have arrived at UCE as more buses were still on their way with more deportees.

The deportees were carrying their few belongings, mostly in satchels.

Most of them complained that they left valuables that they were never given the chance to collect before being deported to Zimbabwe.

The news crew could not interview the deportees yesterday after health personnel said not all safety requirements had been put in place for interaction.

However, it was established that two people were sharing a room at the hostels.

Hillside Teachers’ College is expected to take in more deportees, but no deportees had been taken there yet.

The deportees will spend nine days at their centres in Bulawayo after they had already spent six days under quarantine in Plumtree.

In a statement on his official Twitter handle, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services Mr Nick Mangwana said some deportees were being moved to Bulawayo where they will be housed at Government tertiary education colleges.

“Plumtree High is now holding 450 people returning from Botswana. Due to the facilities being overwhelmed, decongestion is in progress and some of the people there are being moved to Hillside College, UCE and Bulawayo Poly where additional placements have been identified,” he said.

In a telephone interview, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Judith Ncube yesterday said the deportees had settled in well although a lot of work was still underway to ensure successful quarantine. — Chronicle