By Chipinge Reporter
Widow of the late nationalist, Josiah Magama Tongogara, Senator Angeline Kumbirai Tongogara, is humbled by how her husband has been recognised in the country after his death.
Sen. Tongogara said this in a speech which she gave during this year’s commemorations of World Refugee Day. Zimbabwe held a belated commemoration of World Refugee Day on 30 June 2023 at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge.
“General Tongogara hailed from Shurugwi, but look his name is being honoured here in Chipinge. This shows that when he was at war, he wasn’t segregating people on tribal lines. He knew that he was representing and fighting for all Zimbabweans. That is why this refugee camp bears his name.
“I want to thank the traditional leadership in Chipinge who agreed to host Tongogara’s name. If they had refused to accept this camp, nothing would have materialised. I would like to thank people who considered that General Tongogara left a family and recognised me. That is why I am here,” she said.
Senator Tongogara descended onto Chipinge in company of her daughter and a grandchild.
Tongogara Refugee Camp is a Government institution under the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. The camp was established during the early 1980’s to accommodate Mozambican refugees and asylum seekers who were fleeing Frelimo-Renamo conflicts.
At the height of the Mozambican crisis, the camp hosted in excess of 50 000 persons. However, the camp was then closed in 1994 following the successful implementation of the 1992 Rome Agreement which paved way for voluntary repatriation of Mozambican refugees.
The camp was then reopened in 1998 following the influx of persons seeking international protection from the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa.
Since then, the camp has become a cosmopolitan village providing a haven to persons of different parts of Africa. It was established in terms of General Notice 252 of 1999 read together with Section 12 (1) of the Refugees Act.
Tongogara Refugee Camp is under the management of the Department of Social Department in partnership with development organisation such as United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Program (WFP), World Vision, Terre des Hommes (TDH) and others.
Currently, the camp is home to more 15,000 refugees and asylum seekers.