International Organisation For Migration Pledges To Assist SA Returnees

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has pledged to support Zimbabweans in South Africa to return home.

Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans are expected to trek back home in the coming months following the expiry of their special permits knowns as Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEPs).

On Saturday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa held a meeting with IOM director-general Antonio Vitorino.

According to a report in The Sunday Mail, the meeting was held on the sidelines of the ongoing 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit.

In an interview with State media soon after their meeting, Vitorino said:

I was explaining to the President that the Zimbabwean Government can count on the full support of IOM to deal with the challenges confronting us, particularly the issue of protecting migrants, and guaranteeing those returning home.

We will ensure that they have the necessary incentives to reintegrate into Zimbabwean society and that the Zimbabwean diaspora can contribute to the development of the country.

We have critical issues like providing them with the necessary tools for them to be more productive and reintegrate into society.

Also, the movement of people in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region is one of the aspects we have considered.

A government official who attended the meeting revealed that a sub-committee of an inter-ministerial committee is in South Africa to gather information about the needs of Zmbabweans who will be coming back home. Said the official:

The subcommittee will establish how many Zimbabweans are in South Africa who are coming back, what skills they hold so that they could possibly be deployed in the economy for the good of the country, and what training they might require.

It will be a full package and Government will work closely with IOM to achieve that objective.

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