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Concern over Zimbabwe illegal immigrants

[Botswana] Taxi park in Gaborone. IRIN
Taxi park in Gaborone
The volume of illegal Zimbabwean migrants crossing into Botswana in search of work has created an unwelcome burden for the country's law enforcement agencies, Botswana police and imigration officials have warned. "They overstretch our facilities and resources because illegal immigrants, once apprehended, have to be placed in temporary shelters like detention centres and prisons," police commissioner Norman Moleboge told IRIN on Thursday. "We do not have the manpower to deal with this problem." According to Botswana's Department of Immigration, 26,717 Zimbabwean illegal immigrants were apprehended and repatriated from Botswana last year alone. "On average the government spends about 50 pula (US $10) per illegal immigrant on repatriation. This includes transportation, feeding expenses and subsistence costs for repatriating officers," said chief immigration officer, Roy Sekgororoane. "We think there is a lack of employment in their country of origin. Whenever they are interviewed, they claim that they are looking for employment," he said. Botswana's strong economy is luring young Zimbabwean men and women who have few propspects of a job at home as their country slides deeper into crisis. Botswana's law enforcement agencies conduct patrols along the border with Zimbabwe, as well as urban sweeps, to find illegal migrants. They also hold regular meetings with their Zimbabwean counterparts to address the problem. "To a certain extent they are successful, but we have to intensify our border patrols," Sekgororoane said. More details

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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