Covid-19 Zim Repatriations: Beware of creating more problems, as you try to seek solutions

By Mehluli Matshakaile

Covid-19 a pandemic which started as just a flue in China in 2019. It has now presented difficult and different dynamics to the world which no-one anticipated or was prepared for.

A lot of things have happened so far as a measure to mitigate the spread of the dreaded disease.

Powerful countries and world bodies are at each other’s throats. The blame game has become the order of the day.

Looking to inspire people by playing a blame game is very disingenuous.

The world is upside down as we speak and powerful leaders and nations are looking for a scapegoat to these pandemic.

WHO is the first casualty of the pandemic. Cutting aid to WHO will be catastrophic to Africa as it is the only hope for Africa in terms of health.

Citizens of different countries are stranded in foreign countries not knowing what will to do next.

Zimbabweans are no exception to the problems Covid-19 is presenting to the world over.

The world is under lockdown and that has presented problems to the poor and the marginalized more than anything else in history of mankind.

Providing food to families has became a big challenge given the fact that movement is limited and financial constraints are high.

Most people live on hand to mouth on a daily basis which is a challenge to majority of the people in South Africa, Zimbabweans included.

Plus or minus 10 million people in South Africa are on social grants and some are informal traders.

This provides an extent of poverty among the poor mostly in black townships.

With this in mind the Zimbabwean Embassy and the Consulates across the country have extended a helping hand to Zimbabwean distress citizens who might need assistance to be repatriated back to Zimbabwe to came forward for assistance.

We hope the embassy will provide the details as to how it will be done. Many of the Zimbabweans are doing informal jobs in the inner city, and man

I believe that before that should be done a clear road map needs to be put in place taking into account that most of the citizens who might need assistance are themselves financial providers back to the people in the country.

What assistance will be given to the repatriated people when they reach their destination, and what will be of those who were financially relying on them for survival.

Repatriation will be a good move but it might create problems to the government and the citizens concerned.

I will advise the government and the embassy to do a study first before undertaking the exercise.

The context of repatriation needs to be mitigated clearly to avoid misunderstandings and over expectations.

Black people have endured racism in the hands of Chinese in main land China,the condition their are in is unbearable and worse than the days of slavery.

The efforts by the Embassy to repatriate distressed citizens is a welcome move. But we need more answers as to the feasibility, and practicality of the proposals.

We could end up with more problems than we started with. My two cents.


Matshakaile is a correspondent for Zimbabwe Digital News. He writes in his personal capacity.

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