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Zimbambwe refugees

Zimbambwe refugees in South Africa

Even after the formation of a unitary government orchestrated and executed by President Robert Mugabe and his archenemy, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, most Zimbabweans continue to flee over the border illegally into neighbouring South Africa. This perhaps suggests that either the power sharing deal, albeit still intact, has had little or no impact at all on the daily lives of the average Zimbabweans, or it’s too obvious that faith in the coalition government is waning.

The continued illegal move across the borders has persisted despite relaxed visa rules and claims that the country has normalized. The Musina town showgrounds, a cluster of brick buildings and sheds on a sprawling field meant to host agricultural fairs is the first port of call in South Africa for millions of Zimbabweans fleeing the collapsed economy. Thousands of refugees gather and queue at the fence behind which stand police vans – used for deporting refugees with no documents, and mobile registration center set up by the South African government, which has tried a variety of solutions to thwart the constant flow of migrants. Before temporarily lifting visa requirements for Zimbabwean immigrants entering the country for a period of 90 days back in May, the ANC-led government tried a hand on mass deportations and handing out asylum seeker permits, the latter which just helped to encourage influx. Many refugees arrive with few or no possessions as they are often attacked by gangs called gumaguma’s, who roam around and about the border...

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