An official at the ministry in charge of refugees (MIDMAR), has said that the government only sensitizes and facilitates refugees to return voluntarily but cannot force anyone to come home.
According to Jean Claude Rwahama, the director in charge of refugee affairs at the ministry, those who retuned have settled in well.
“Those who returned are now living freely after regaining the property they formerly processed before they fled and we shall continue assisting them in partnership with the UNHCR,” he said.
“Government is ready to provide all the necessary facilities to ensure voluntary repatriation of all refugees who are still in different countries but we have no intentions of forcing anybody to return home.”
Rwahama noted that the country is peaceful and ready to welcome and reintegrate any refugee wishing to return home.
Meanwhile, it is reported that Zimbabwe’s Labour and Social Services Minister, Paurina Mupariwa, told the refugees at the Tongogara Refugee Camp that it was now safe to return to their country.
"You would agree with me that there is no place like home and refugee life cannot continue forever,” she was quoted as saying in a Zimbabwean newspaper.
According to UNHCR-Zimbabwe, more than a quarter of the 5,000 refugees in Zimbabwe originate from the Great Lakes region but the majority is not willing to return home.
"Rwanda is the only country trying to induce all its citizens to repatriate," a UNHCR official in Zimbabwe was quoted by the media in the southern African country.
He announced that plans were underway to allow the refugees in Zimbabwe to visit Rwanda to witness, firsthand, the situation in the country before deciding whether or not to return.