Embassy reaches out to stricken Zimbabweans in Namibia


Days after the Zimbabwean embassy in Botswana reached out to Zimbabweans in that country wishing to return home, the Zimbabwean mission in Namibia has done the same.

Namibia, like most countries in the region, has implemented a lockdown to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, but this has left Zimbabweans wishing to travel back to their home country stranded in that nation.

Those wishing to travel back to Zimbabwe have been asked to submit their names on Monday and Tuesday.

It is not clear when the repatriation is going to happen.

Those wishing to travel to Zimbabwe will have to travel through Zambia, as Botswana has shuttered its borders.

But travelling via Zambia will not be without its hiccups, the embassy advised .

“There is a possibility of a 14-day quarantine at the Zambian border before proceeding to Zimbabwe at your own cost,” the embassy said.

“The Zambian government will only provide accommodation.”

On arrival in Zimbabwe, the travellers will also have to go through a 21-day quarantine period.

The prospect of more than a month in quarantine, however, could discourage people from planning their returns to Zimbabwe.

In Botswana, most of those who are volunteering to return to Zimbabwe are menial workers, whose prospects of getting jobs have all but dwindled due to the lockdown.

A similar exercise was also carried out in South Africa.

Zimbabwe’s lockdown is due to end on Sunday.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has so far kept the nation guessing on what will happen after the expiry of the lockdown period.

So far Zimbabwe has recorded three deaths due to the coronavirus, two recoveries and 24 confirmed infections.

The coronavirus is likely to have a profound effect on the Zimbabwean economy, with the International Monetary Fund projecting that the economy will contract by 7.5%.

The government has been urged to roll out fiscal incentives to cushion companies reeling from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak that might cripple an already bleeding economy. – News Day