By Tamuka Charakupa
As the country joined the rest of the globe in commemorating World Refugee Day this Monday, government has reiterated its commitment to uplifting the welfare of refugees in the country.
Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge was the place to be this Monday, with the refugee community showcasing their diverse cultures through song and dance.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Professor Paul Mavima, who officiated at the World Refugee Day commemorations, said government has initiated a number of projects meant to improve the welfare of refugees.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to assure you that Zimbabwe recognises the need for continued collaboration in responding to humanitarian situations in Africa. Therefore, as a Government, we are committed to strengthen the whole of society approach to deal with the devastating effects of pandemics and related challenges. In addition, we commit ourselves to adopt home grown solutions to African problems. We will forever ‘walk the talk’ in the fight against humanitarian challenges,” he said.
Professor Mavima added, “Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, as we mark the 2022 World Refugee Day under the theme “Whoever, Wherever, Whenever Everyone has the right to seek Safety”, it is an opportunity for us to strengthen partnerships and renew our commitment to the cause. The whole of society approach is our trump card hence the need for collaborative approach from the community up to the national level in responding to humanitarian needs. Together we can make a difference.”
Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Nokuthula Matsikenyere urged the community to remain peaceful.
“Tongogara Refugee Camp is home to about 15 thousand refugees. This shows how welcome we are a country, but I also want to take this opportunity to encourage this special group to remain peaceful and abide by the laws of Zimbabwe,” she said.
United Nations Development Programme country representative, Mia Seppo hailed the peaceful co-existence and harmony around the camp.
“I have been particularly impressed by the fact that there are no reports of violence within and around the camp. I want to applaud the host community and the refugees themselves for this peaceful co-existence.”
The commemorations ran under the theme: ‘Whoever, wherever, whenever: Everyone has the right to seek safety’ which dovetails with government’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind.