Malawi Hires 2 Buses to Repatriate Citizens Fleeing Xenophobia in SA - K24m for Operations

18 September 2019

Government says it has hired two buses to ferry 76 Malawians who are fleeing the wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Returnees face an uncertain future as they enter an economy with an exceptionally high unemployment rate.-Photo by Reuters

In an interview monitored on public broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Dodma Principal Secretary Wilson Mollen said in these repatriation operations, his Department is working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Health, Immigration Department and other concerned stakeholders.

"We have contracted Intercape to ferry those Malawians back home and they are starting off [Tuesday, September 17] and should be here by Thursday, " said Mollen.

He disclosed the initial budget for the repatriation exercise is K24 million cartering for transport and victims' food whilst in transit, among others.

"The initial budget is around K24 million and carters transport and food whilst in transit and also the food when they arrive here and transport to their respect homes," he explained.

Moleni said upon arrival, the repatriated people will be provided with temporary shelter at Njamba Freedom Park in the commercial city of Blantyre where screening be will done before being dispatched to their respective homes across the country.

"Prior to their repatriation, the displaced Malawians were provided with basic and moral support by the Malawi government through the Malawi High Commission in the Republic of South Africa, International Organisation for Migration and Gift of Givers," said Moleni.

He said DoDMA is collaborating with other ministries and government departments to ensure that these displaced Malawians are supported all the way to their various destinations in Malawi.

South Africa has become a magnet for migrants from other parts of Africa including impoverished Malawi as it has one of the continent's biggest and most developed economies.

But there is also high unemployment in the country and some people feel foreigners are taking their jobs.

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