Mozambique tensions: Zim on alert

HARARE - As tensions between government and rebels reach boiling point in neighbouring Mozambique, Zimbabwe is making contingency plans for a possible influx of refugees from that country and the region at large, a Cabinet minister said.

Speaking after meeting the United Nations Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) country representative Robert Tibagwa, minister of Social Services Prisca Mupfumira said the country will also review rejected cases and the status of current refugees.

“We were also discussing the issue that there has been a resurgence of Renamo activity in Mozambique and we were sharing that maybe we need to go together, United Nations Commission for refugees (UNHCR) and other agencies, to find out what is really happening on our border with Mozambique and we have to be in a state of preparedness just in case we have an influx to make sure we don’t have emergencies, which we are not prepared for,” Mupfumira said.

In Mozambique, tensions are high as the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) guerillas clash with the governing Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo).

Already, over 3 500 refugees from Mozambique have reportedly fled to Malawi, as the region faces a fresh refugee crisis.

“What we are discussing is that as government we are responsible for all people in the country. However, because of limited resources, we are not able to look after all citizens including refugees.

“Our case in Zimbabwe has been exacerbated by the current drought which we are going through, which has caused serious challenges.”

Mupfumira said Zimbabwe was currently engaged in a biometric sampling process to ascertain the exact number of refugees in the country.

According to statistics from the previous sampling, Tongogara refugee camp in Manicaland is currently hosting 10 800 refugees, with 80 percent of the refugees being from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 8 percent from Rwanda, another 8 percent from Burundi and the other 4 percent are a mixture from Eritrea, Somalia , Ethiopia and Sudan.

“Not everyone is accepted as a bonafide asylum seeker, we have had to reject some of the asylum seekers, some of them are not genuine, some are criminals looking for a hideout,” Mupfumira said.

Tibagwa said although there were efforts by the African Union (AU) and international community to make sure the Mozambique conflict ends peacefully, Zimbabwe has to be prepared.

“We want to access the situation for ourselves and make sure that at the end of it all, we draw up a contingency plan just in case the Mozambique situation gets worse. The AU and the international community are working hard to make sure that situation is resolved peacefully. But it’s better to be prepared.

“We have also discussed the possibility of reviewing the (situation of) rejected asylum seekers to see that we are not rejecting those who actually deserve and to actually make sure that those who are here and do not deserve to be accorded refugee status are identified and either returned to their country or some other solutions,” said Tibagwa.

Comments (12)

This time its a full war let us mozambicians tipedzerane please ZNA do not interfere in our internal affairs Frelimo is good as gone

Matsanga - 26 April 2016

Mozambicans must be encouraged to maintain peece n stability at all cost.for themselves and the region.our leaders shuld encorage them to pursue peace by peacefull means.an unstable mozambique will destroy our growth when it starts,which is not far now.our beira corridor needs to function for our traders.allowing moza to slide into chaos is not good for zim ,sa,n malawi.moreso us.

viola gwena - 26 April 2016

Talking to mozambicans in time culd save millions of dollars of maning our borders wth troops,or sending troops there.we are very vulnerable ourselves as we cant afford a war.A war in mozambique can also be taken advantage of by anyone wishing to asalt Zim militarily.we will be vulnerable.my small business which is heavily relient on moza will be greatly affected.

viola gwena - 26 April 2016

Renamo are doing just right. There is no democracy here in Africa. Zanu PF lost elections in 2008. They with held results for 5 weeks while troops were stuffing ballot boxes to come up with a rerun result to force the populace to vote for them. What happened? Democracy has failed here in Zimbabwe. That is what also happening there in Mozambique. Let them fight it out. That is the only language of Africa. Viva Renamo!

Mbareboy - 26 April 2016

its easy to start war than to stop it. its easy to build than to build. emotions can be very dangerous and disasterous. save mankind please. viva peace. those calling for war are the first to seek refuge. its unfortunate

observer - 27 April 2016

its easy to start war than to stop it. its easy to build than to build. emotions can be very dangerous and disasterous. save mankind please. viva peace. those calling for war are the first to seek refuge. its unfortunate

observer - 27 April 2016

its easy to start war than to stop it. its easy to build than to build. emotions can be very dangerous and disasterous. save mankind please. viva peace. those calling for war are the first to seek refuge. its unfortunate

observer - 27 April 2016

its easy to start war than to stop it. its easy to build than to build. emotions can be very dangerous and disasterous. save mankind please. viva peace. those calling for war are the first to seek refuge. its unfortunate

observer - 27 April 2016

its easy to start war than to stop it. its easy to build than to build. emotions can be very dangerous and disasterous. save mankind please. viva peace. those calling for war are the first to seek refuge. its unfortunate

observer - 27 April 2016

its easy to start war than to stop it. its easy to build than to build. emotions can be very dangerous and disasterous. save mankind please. viva peace. those calling for war are the first to seek refuge. its unfortunate

observer - 27 April 2016

its easy to start war than to stop it. its easy to build than to build. emotions can be very dangerous and disasterous. save mankind please. viva peace. those calling for war are the first to seek refuge. its unfortunate

observer - 27 April 2016

its easy to start war than to stop it. its easy to build than to build. emotions can be very dangerous and disasterous. save mankind please. viva peace. those calling for war are the first to seek refuge. its unfortunate

observer - 27 April 2016

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