Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A nongovernmental organization based in South Africa has mobilised food hampers for 300 distressed Zimbabweans in the neighboring country, with 1 000 more having registered for food aid in Johannesburg due to hardships caused by Covid-19 lockdown.
Unity Zimbabwe chairman, Mr Boniface Maigurira said they had so far registered 1 000 Zimbabweans who are food insecure in Johannesburg alone.
“Initially we donated food items to 400 people and now we are working with One Moment Foundation to help 300 others,” he said.
“Currently we are screening the list and will hand over food items on Friday to the beneficiaries. The package includes; maize meal, bread, baked beans, tea leave, flour and relish among other things. We are touched by the plight of our countrymen and we will continue mobilizing help for those who are distressed”.
It is understood that over 6000 Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa have reached out to many organisations and their embassy seeking food assistance.
Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa, Mr David Hamadziripi recently said as of May 6, 2 680 Zimbabweans had registered for repatriation while 4 172 had indicated they were in need of food.
The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa also announced that it had more than 1 400 people on its data base in need of food aid.
Chronicle understands that some immigrants in the neighboring country among them thousands of Zimbabweans are voluntarily returning home.
So far over 3 000 people have been repatriated via Beitbridge Border Post and are being quarantined at various provincial centres near their homes.
Others are still registering with the embassy. It is however, not clear how many Zimbabweans are based in the neighbouring country but 300 000 were registered under the three-year Zimbabwe Exemption permits which expires next year.
Many others are in that country illegally.