Tribal Chiefs meet to discuss booting out undocumented Zimbabweans who have invaded their area

The village of Modipane in Botswana’s Kgatleng District is facing a growing problem of undocumented immigrants, primarily from neighboring Zimbabwe, engaging in criminal activities. 

The Botswana Guardian newspaper states that tribal authorities are expressing concern over the rising crime rate and the fear it instills in residents.

Kgosi Fanuel Mokalake, the village leader, spoke to the Midweek Sun about the issue, stating that illegal immigrants are often involved in stock theft and house-breaking. 

He attributes the influx to Zimbabwe’s ongoing economic crisis, which has forced many to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Botswana’s Home Affairs Minister, Anna Mokgethi, confirmed the severity of the situation, revealing that Zimbabweans constitute 98% of all irregular migrants in the country.

Despite deportation efforts, many individuals manage to return, making it difficult to effectively control the situation.

“Residents in Modipane live in fear because of Zimbabweans,”  Kgosi Mokalake lamented, urging villagers to refrain from employing illegal immigrants. 

He highlighted a recent case where a Zimbabwean national, Methulesi Moyo, was accused of killing a resident, emphasizing the potential dangers associated with the influx.

Adding to the community’s woes is a rise in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases. 

Since January 2024, ten cases have been reported at Kgosi Mokalake’s customary court, with most victims ultimately withdrawing their complaints.

The chief expressed concern over this trend, emphasizing that it legitimizes the actions of perpetrators and allows them to continue their abusive behaviour.

He cited a recent example where a victim withdrew a case because the alleged perpetrator was the family’s breadwinner, fearing the economic consequences of his imprisonment. 

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