“Two thousand Zimbabweans are deported every month from neighbouring countries with Botswana recording the highest number of Zimbabweans being deported. We have assisted 530 people who were deported since 7 October. This phenomenon is not new as it has been going on since 2006, with the reasons being the same – that of documentation,” IOM Chief of Missions Vincent Houver told Radio VOP in Harare Thursday.
“The assistance which we offer ranges from counselling to medical treatment. The other worrying thing which we have realised is that HIV prevalence is high among the deportees and as such we have clinics in the country’s borders…”
It is estimated that over three million Zimbabweans are in the Diaspora and other African countries for economic and political reasons.
Most of these people who are seeking economic refugee neighbouring countries went without proper documentation during the country’s economic turmoil over the past decade.
Of the 1,5 million Zimbabweans estimated to be staying in South African as political and economic refugees, only under 300 000 applications were processed under the Zimbabwe Documentation Project. The rest now face deportation to Zimbabwe.