Botswana: Government Allow Illegal Immigrants to Stay

Maitengwe — Government has decided that all illegal immigrants in the country be left to stay until further notice.

Speaking during a meeting at Maitengwe Border Post recently, health and wellness assistant minister, Mr Sethomo Lelatisitswe said those caught entering Botswana illegally during this period should be quarantined for the stipulated period and tested.

Meanwhile, Tutume Sub-district Council chairman, Mr. Anthony Chibane has asked government to suspend the Ipelegeng Programme as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus.

Mr Chibane pointed out that in some areas, over 100 workers shared 10 tools which was too risky for employees.

He said social distancing was not observed and even sanitisation of tools was not done properly.

For his part, a Maitengwe Border Gate Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) official Mr Lucky Vincent has appealed to government and district leadership to set up a quarantine centre in the village.

He said Maintengwe experienced an influx of illegal immigrants from the Zimbabwean side therefore a holding centre in the village for those arrested before relocation to Tutume was advisable.

In addition, he pointed out that communication had not reached them on what to do with those arrested.

Previously, he explained, border jumpers were arrested and deported right away.

Mr Vincent noted that the border post was officially closed on March 22 and within that week, 47 illegal immigrants were arrested, together with four Batswana who were apprehended and were placed under self-quarantine, one being a 90-year-old woman.

He noted that the border fence, measuring 35 kilometre, was completely worn out, making it open to both Zimbabweans and locals, who have relatives on either side of the border thereby making it easy for the spread of the virus.

Source : BOPA

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