Needy Zimbabwean expatriates in South Africa are set to get humanitarian assistance during neighbouring South Africa’s COVID-19 national lockdown, which has since been extended to the end of April.
The Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa is reportedly collaborating with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on support for Zimbabweans resident in that country.
Spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, Bongani Mkwananzi, told CITE, they have been informed by the Zimbabwean Embassy that the UNHCR has since requested the former to submit names of Zimbabweans in need.
“In liaison with the Embassy, the UNHCR, has requested the Embassy to submit a list of Zimbabweans who are in need of assistance,” said Mkwananzi.
“If you genuinely need assistance and have a valid Z.E.P (Zimbabwe Exemption Permit) Asylum seeker document or Refugee status document, please join our Telegram group and submit these details so we can forward to the Embassy.”
Mkwananzi said the Embassy was also working on addressing the plight of those Zimbabweans who want to come back home.
“The Embassy has advised us that they are concluding processes and consultations around the issue of those Zimbabweans requesting repatriation and that will also be put in official channels on authentic letterheads,” he said.
He went on to urge organisations wishing to come to the assistance of Zimbabweans, to come forward and do so.
“The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa calls upon the churches, community organisations, NGOs and business community to assist those in need,” he said.
“We recommend that all the organisations wishing to assist come together and operate from one umbrella to dispel confusion among our compatriots as well as cause situations that compromise the lock-down measures by asking people to go and queue or register at unverified and potentially unsafe locations.”
He added that they would release details on distribution and keep updating the community on the efforts to get assistance while emphasizing, they were requesting everyone to stay home.