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Mobile Registration Proposed For Chipinge Refugees

Stephen Ephraem

CHIPINGE: Refugees who are housed at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge are set to benefit from a proposed mobile registration program by the Government of Zimbabwe to facilitate identity documents for those in need.

This came out on 24 September during an official visit of Tongogara Refugee Camp by the minister of Public Services, Labour and Social Welfare Honourable Professor Paul Mavhima. The tour was headed by the camp administrator, Johane Mhlanga.

In his opening remarks, Mr Johane Mhlanga indicated that a lot of refugees and asylum seekers especially those born in the country are taking long to get registered.

“We have a lot of unregistered refugees and asylum seekers in Tongogara Refugee Camp especially those that are born by parents already residing in Zimbabwe. Most of the refugees and asylum seeker are finding it difficult to go to Harare to regularise their offsprings leading us to be a home of unregistered dwellers,” said Mhlanga

In response to the call Honourable Professor Paul Mavhima proposed to arrange mobile registration for the camp.

“We cannot let people reside in the camp unregistered. To that effort, I propose that officials from the Registrar General embark on mobile registration exercise twice a year in order to regularise the refugees and asylum seekers,” the minister said.

On another note, the camp administer was worried about asylum seekers whose applications were rejected but continue to live in the camp.

“There are 863 individuals; 424 females and 439 males who rejected on different ground but are still in the country. In terms of Section 8 of the Refugee Act, once an individual is rejected by the Minister, he/she is expected to leave the country within three months of receiving notification,” said Mr Mhlanga.

The minister responded by assuring to collaborate with migration department to enforce the law.

“We cannot continues to have those seeking asylum after everything was exhausted including the appeals continue to be in the country. They should be processed to leave. We shall seek cooperation with the Department of Immigration, ministry of Justice and the refugee commissioner that those rejected leave the country,” said Professor Mavhima

Tongogara Refugee Camp is home to 14 542 refugees and asylum seekers of whom 75 percent are from Democratic Republic of Congo, 11.07 percent Mozambique, 6.2 percent Burundi, 4.7 percent Rwanda and 2.53 percent smaller communities.