Corruption rampant at Lindela

BY ZAKEUS CHIBAYA

JOHANNESBURG - Corruption and ill-treatment of Zimbabwe asylum seekers and illegal immigrants is still rampant at Lindela Repatriation Camp as immigration officers demand bribe


s in return for the release of inmates.


A special investigation by The Zimbabwean reveals that security personal routinely assault Zimbabwean asylum seekers at Lindela. People with asylum papers are deported to Zimbabwe if they fail to pay bribes, which range from R800 and R1000.


Colleen Makumbirofa, human rights campaigner for Foundation for Reason and Justice who was detained at Lindela for two weeks after he failed to renew his asylum permit in Cape Town described the conditions as deplorable.


“Immigrations officers pretend to assist asylum seekers but they are just looking for bribes. Some people have to pay bribes when they are transported from Lindela to the train station bound for Zimbabwe,” said the frail-looking Makumbirofa.


Thousands of Zimbabweans are arrested every day. Asylum seekers permits are renewed for two weeks or a month to frustrate them after spending the whole day waiting for the renewal of their papers.


“When deported, people are forced to squat under train benches the whole journey to Musina. No-one is allowed to raise a head as they fear that people might try to jump from the moving train. The journey is grueling, it’s like a torture exercise,” said Shadreck Mayo who was deported recently and managed to return to South Africa after walking from Musina to Makado on foot.


He added that people are rotting at Lindela as they spent almost a month at the camp awaiting deportation. Illegal immigrants from other Africa countries such as Tanzania, Nigeria and Rwanda spent more than six months in the camp. Only illegal immigrants from Mozambique are deported very often prompting many Zimbabweans to prefer being deported to Moza.


Zimbabweans are deported once every two weeks on Wednesdays but while thousands of Zimbabweans are arrested every day.


“When deported people are forced to squat under train benches the whole journey to Musina.Noone is allowed to raise a head as they fear that people might try to jump from the moving. The journey is grueling its like a torture exercise,” said Shadreck Mayo who was deported recently and managed to return back to South Africa after walking from Musina to Makado on foot.


Zimbabwe consulate staffs who visit the camp to screen people who are to be deported to Zimbabwe are accused of neglecting the concern of Zimbabweans. They are even ridiculed by inmates for destroying people homes during Operation Murambatsvina.


South Africa government is accused of working hand in hand with Robert Mugabe regime in frustrating Zimbabwe asylum seekers and stop them from organizing themselves to fight for democracy in Zimbabwe.

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