WINDHOEK - Government has availed a cash grant of N$3.6 million to 777 former Dukwi refugees who were recently deported from Botswana.
The group failed to take advantage of the dispensation extended to them to register for repatriation under an existing tripartite agreement, parliament heard on Tuesday.
The deportation follows a judgement delivered in July this year by the Botswana Court of Appeal, which declared Namibians at the Dukwi refugee camp in Botswana illegal immigrants.
The former refugees are part of a group of 2 400 Namibians who fled the country in the 90s and settled at the Dukwi refugee camp following secessionist attempts of Zambezi Region (formerly Caprivi) from Namibia in 1999. Home affairs and immigration minister Frans Kapofi this week briefed lawmakers on the completion of the repatriation process of former refugees.
He said the money was made available due to the refusal of the former refugees to sign up for voluntarily repatriation under United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Had they signed the agreement, Kapofi said former refugees would have been entitled to a UNHCR reparation package of N$3 800 (US$300) per individual aged 13 years and older, and N$1 300 per minor below the age of 12, as per the tripartite commission agreement.
Kapofi said on top of the N$3.6 million, government also gave food rations to last for three months per individual, building materials per household and transport to their respective villages.
Also, he said, government registered and enrolled school going children of the former refugees.
“Students writing their final examination for grade 12 have returned to Botswana to sit for examination. Similarly, those who are doing vocational education have returned to sit for their final examination as well,” he said.
He said medial reports of individual returnees were handed over to the health ministry and those in need of medical attention have been attended to.
Kapofi said his ministry has also arranged a mobile registration programme for the issuance of national documents, which include the issuance of birth certificates, identity documents and citizenship by descent, at no cost to nationals to exercise their constitutional rights.
Furthermore, Kapofi told parliamentarians that those aged 60 and over will immediately benefit from the monthly old-age pension grant, which currently stands at N$1 250.
“Orphans and vulnerable children were also registered to benefit from this parallel grants,” he said.
“Government remains committed to their wellbeing, and will ensure that they benefit from the services and programme offered to all other Namibians.”
2019-10-17 06:38:18 | 25 days ago