Zimbabwe tightens screws on illegal migrants


Illegal migrants

from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) THE drafting of the National Migration, Diaspora and Migration Labour policies is poised to address the inflow of undocumented people passing through Zimbabwe to neighbouring nations, mostly South Africa.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage reiterated the pledge through a just-ended workshop it organized in Victoria Falls.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Africa Regional Migration Program (ARMP), with funding from the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), facilitated the event.

Aaron Nhepera, the Home Affairs Permanent Secretary, said the finalisation of the policy came at an opportune time when the Zimbabwean government was intensifying the implementation of migration policies for sustainable development.

This is in line with the Global Compact on Safe Orderly and Regular Migration.

Nhepera said Zimbabwe faced challenges of irregular migration flows involving particularly asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors and separated migrant children from the horn of Africa and Great Lakes region.

They transit through Zimbabwe to South Africa due to conflict and instability in their countries.

“Government recognizes the importance of a coherent policy response to address the challenges related to these migration flows,” Nhepera said.

“The policy will empower government to harness the opportunities presented by a growing diaspora in the social and economic development of the country,” he explained.

Nhepera said there were vast opportunities presented by a growing diaspora population in the social and economic development of the Southern African country.

Zimbabwe has been known as a source, transit and destination for migrants mostly from Southern Africa.

The trend has changed in the past two decades as the country has become a source country for regular and irregular migrants to countries in the region.

The country hopes to use the National Migration Policy, National Diaspora Policy and National Migration Labour Policy to address
migration challenges.

The endorsed draft policy has been handed over to the Permanent Secretary for onward submission for cabinet approval.

Mario Lito Malanca, IOM Chief of Mission, said the National Migration Policy would address the drivers of migration, facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration and safeguard, and respect the human rights of all migrants, whatever their status, whether regular or irregular.

He reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to support Zimbabwe in implementation of migration related aspects of the national development strategy for Zimbabwe’s social and economic development.

Malanca lauded President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government for developing the National Migration Policy.

“I firmly believe that migration, if well managed, can contribute to the acceleration of Zimbabwe’s economic growth and development,” Malanca said.

– CAJ News



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