By Mbekezeli Ncube
ZANU-PF spokesperson in South Africa, Kennedy Mandaza has encouraged Zimbabweans in that country to consider a return home amid tough measures imposed by the southern neighbour to try and arrest a furious surge in coronavirus cases.
Speaking to South African media Sunday, Mandaza urged his compatriots to fill in some repatriation forms in their numbers in order to get help much easier back at home.
“Even though there are other options like applying for food aid for Zimbabweans living in South Africa during this lockdown, the form of assistance which is a possibility is repatriation because they can engage with others that can assist them back home,” he said.
Mandaza also said Zimbabwe’s ruling party was positive the process would be smooth and lives of those who would like to go back home are protected.
“We are quite confident that the embassy which represents Zimbabwe here in South Africa will undertake all the necessary measures to make sure that those Zimbabweans that are repatriated will get home safely.
“Upon crossing the border into Zimbabwe, they will be quarantined for a period of 21 days to make sure that they are screened and tested in case there might be those who might be affected by the virus.
“The process is clean, and it can be followed through to ensure that Zimbabweans that need to get home get there safely,” said Mandaza.
Like many of their compatriots back home, Zimbabweans trying to fend for their families in South Africa find themselves confined to homes as the southern neighbour tries to tame the rampaging disease.
Since the outbreak last month, Covid-19 infections in South Africa have risen to over 3 000 with over 50 deaths recorded.
However, it remains a question on whether Zimbabwe was capable of taking care of its returning citizens from South Africa as it is already struggling with a hungry population also under Covid-19 lockdown.