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Zim refugees begin returning home

Slowly but surely, Zimbabwean refugees have started returning to their native country on voluntary repatriation basis, a senior official with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has said.

At least thirteen Zimbabwean refugees from the Dukwi Refugee Camp – situated some 160km northwest of Francistown, have retraced their steps back home courtesy of the UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation programme.

“In 2015, 13 refugees returned home to Zimbabwe,” Tina Ghelli, the UNHCR Senior Regional External Relations Officer for Southern Africa recently told WeekendPost. Ghelli said the refugees are returning because they have decided to go back home.    

She added: “UNHCR’s policy is to assist refugees to return home voluntarily and in safety and in dignity. We do not force refugees to go return if they do not want to do so. Our mandate is to ensure that refugees are safe in all facets.”

According to Ghelli, there are 681 refugees and 48 asylum seekers from the neighboring Zimbabwe who are currently at the only refugee camp in the country alongside others from different nations such as Eritrea, Namibia, and Somalia to mention just a few.

The refugees from Dukwi camp said they were returning voluntarily following a reduction of food supplies at the camp and resumption of political normalcy in parts of the Matebeleland area in their native country.

Zimbabwean refugees fled into the country around 2008 at the height of a political tension between President Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s ZANU PF and former Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

During that era, there has been constant attacks among the supporters of either political grouping. But in most cases, it was the MDC supporters who bore the brunt of following Tsvangirai especially in the southern parts of Zimbabwe.   

“We are encouraged to return home after close to a decade housed at the Dukwi camp due to signs of peace and stability in our country,” said one refugee who chose to be identified as Julius only.

Julius has been at the camp since 2008. The period he did spend at the refugee camp has been an eye opener for him as he managed to understand some skills to survive when chips are down and is grateful about the hospitality extended to him by locals.

However, Julius who left part of his family in Dukwi camp as he monitors the situation in Zimbabwe, said food rations in the camps had reduced.

The remaining 681 refugees and forty-eight asylum seekers are however reluctant to return home as they feel the country is not yet safe under the leadership of the 91-year-old Mugabe who has been at helm for the past 35 years.

They also think that the Zimbabwean government could not provide them with the food, healthcare and education they currently receive in the refugee camps.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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