‘We can’t control Batswana chiefs’

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe’S major obstacle in stopping Botswana authorities from beating up Zimbabwean nationals was that Gaborone statutes allowed traditional leaders to impose punishments like flogging offenders, legislators heard yesterday.

Officer Commanding Minerals and Border Control Unit, Senior Assistant Earnest Muchenjekwa said they held several meetings with authorities in Botswana on the need to observe human rights, but the practice had not yet stopped.

Snr Asst Comm Muchenjekwa, who was accompanying the secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Melusi Matshiya was giving oral evidence before a Senate Thematic Committee on Peace and Security chaired by Mashonaland Central Committee Senator Damien Mumvuri (Zanu-PF).

Bulawayo Senator Agnes Sibanda (MDC-T) had asked what Government was doing to ensure that Botswana stops beating up Zimbabwean nationals who fail to produce valid documents to justify their stay.

Sen Sibanda said while Botswana authorities flogged Zimbabwean nationals, authorities in Harare treated suspects from Gaborone with dignity.

Snr Asst Comm Muchenjekwa said they had convened several meetings, but the scourge had not yet stopped.

“On deportees being beaten up, we have on several times taken our counterparts in Botswana on a roundtable, trying to impress on them on the observance of human rights. One problem is that traditional leaders in Botswana have the right to impose some punishment on offenders,” said Snr Asst Comm Muchenjekwa.

He said despite the continued flogging of Zimbabwean nationals, the incidents had generally declined.

Snr Asst Comm Muchenjekwa said they would continue to engage authorities in Botswana.

Responding to another question, Mr Matshiya said it would take authority from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his ministry to issue diplomatic passports.

Harare Senator Theresa Makone (MDC-T) had asked why Government did not allow legislators to pay in order to get diplomatic passports if the impediment was that of financial constraints as what Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi had intimated in one of their interactions.

Sen Makone said they were embarrassed during international trips when they queued alongside ordinary persons, yet legislators from other countries enjoyed travelling on diplomatic passports.

“I simply need authorisation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Everyone applies to that ministry even myself. As the permanent secretary of Home Affairs, I could just tell Registrar General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede to give me, but I do not do that. I have to apply to that ministry,” said Mr Matshiya.

On human trafficking, Mr Matshiya said they were carrying out a lot of awareness activities to conscientise people on the vice.

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  • sambiri

    Diplomatic passport to do what while the nation is on fire ? Makone fight for your constituencies not fighting for embarrassement on international flight queues . Who cares how you fly? Ko mbombera hakusi kusvika? No wonder the country keep going in oblivion.
    How do these senators explain to their souls (if ever the have any) that they live luxurious lives while the people they represent unable to afford a decent meal?

    Cry for jobs, ask why mega deals never materialized , tell us you are donating food in your constituencies , and stop baby crying for diplomatic passports.

  • jojo

    @ Theresa Makone
    ‘legislators were embarrassed during international trips when they queued alongside ‘ordinary’ persons…..’ the ordinary person embarrassing you now Theresa, doesn’t feel the same when queuing to vote for you nor pay for your welfare through taxes.whom does she think she is? Queen of England?

  • Nkululeko

    Every nation considers its own sovereignty gives it certain inalienable rights. Much like Zimbabwe’s government doesn’t hesitate to frequently quote its “sovereign” rights, when it feels targeted by US sovereign rights laws and statutes to impose measures against certain Zimbabwean individuals and entities wishing to use facilities provided by and under control of the USA?

  • Pisanai

    Let us fix our economy first and stop working in other countries. Ask yourself what had happened to all that which we had before? Where are the jobs? Why are there no jobs? What caused this? How can this be fixed? Who can fix this? How can we fix this? For how long shall we stay in other peoples countries and taking their jobs? Kurohwa nemachief, xenophobia, underpaid, working for nothing, house arrest, enslaved etc. Zimbabweans must chose what is right for them. Never expect that someone is gonna come and say haaaa chigarai mushe manje. When Zanu pf found out that Smith had a thick head, they fought the regime, people died and in the end Zimbabwe got its independence in 1980 and the majority of zimbabweans vakabva vasununguka.

  • E Makhate

    Our people must just stop stealing like their### and they will be spared the sjambok. I recall a neighbour’s son who got 5 cuts after being found guilty of stealing a phone. Guess what? He has not stolen again. He is now a very good young man. Thank you Batswana.