Zimbabwean Deported From UK Stranded At Quarantine Centre Handina Kwekuyenda
One of the Zimbabweans who was deported from the United Kingdom (UK) is currently stranded at the quarantine centre as he has nowhere to go.
The deportee, whose identity will not be disclosed, is now the sole occupant at the ZIPAM Hotel in Darwendale. The ZIPAM Hotel is one of the holding centres used to quarantine Zimbabweans when they return home from foreign countries.
The stranded man is part of the 14 Zimbabweans who arrived in Zimbabwe last month following deportation from the United Kingdom. The 14 are part of a larger group of Zimbabwean nationals who have been classified as “foreign offenders” by the UK government. The foreign offenders are people who have been convicted of criminal offences in the UK and are now classified as undesirables.
The 14 ended their quarantine period on August 1, 2021. The other 13 people have since left the holding centre to be with their families. The lone remaining occupant at the detention is reported to have lost contact with his family after he left for the United Kingdom. The man who says that he grew up in Zvimba seems to not have a way to get in touch with the remaining members of his family. It is yet to be established how long he has been away.
However, it’s not all gloom and doom for the deported man. His immediate family is still in the United Kingdom. He is currently communicating with his wife and children to see how best he can navigate his new circumstances.
According to national broadcaster ZBC News’s veteran journalist Reuben Barwe, the man is waiting for his family to send some money for his upkeep. Once the money comes through, he is planning on renting a place where he will be able to stay.
Below is the report from Reuben Barwe on the deported Zimbabweans ending their 10-day quarantine at ZIPAM Hotel.
The 14 Zimbabwean deportees who arrived from Britain last month have been united with their families after finishing the mandatory quarantine, which the Government fully covered.
The Government lived up to its promises, that is to take care of the returnees while in quarantine and help them integrate back into their communities, being offered the same opportunities as everyone else.
While residents returning to Zimbabwe voluntarily are required to undergo a mandatory quarantine, they have to do so at their own expense, while those who test positive to Covid-19 will be expected to isolate at a centre of their choice.
Zimbabwe Institute of Administration and Management acting director general Dr Edgar Makande yesterday confirmed the release of the deportees to their family members and relatives. Zipam is a temporary quarantine centre and was used for the 14.
“All the 14 were taken to their families and relatives, 13 were the first to be released on Sunday while the remaining one was still finalising with his family members, but he later also went comfortably on Monday,” he said.
“They enjoyed good hospitality as the Government was fully catering for their stay at the centre including the standard three course meals and desserts. They were also enjoying free Wi-Fi connectivity.”
At first the returnees were struggling a bit to cope with sadza, but later got used to it at least once a day.
Other supporter, including the International Organisation for Migration, working with the Government facilitated transport for the returnees to final family destinations including Umguza in Matabeleland North, Magwegwe in Bulawayo, and Highfield, Westgate and Avondale in Harare.
When they arrived a fortnight ago, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana said: “They will be safe and the same opportunities available to everyone else will be available to them.”
The 14 all arrived in England between 1999 and 2007 and were being deported since they had been convicted of serious offences. These do not count against them on their return as the offences were not committed in Zimbabwe.
The deportation, the first in decades from the UK, confirms that under the Second Republic is now a safe destination after the two countries agreed on June 23 for the safe return of the Zimbabwean nationals.
Initially, the British government was expected to deport 50 Zimbabweans, but some raised objections with the courts and were allowed to appeal, while some were allegedly affected by Covid-19 in some detention centres.