Ministers visit Tz evictees, assure support

Government has assured Rwandans who have been kicked out of Tanzania since the beginning of this month of maximum support.
Minister Mukantabana (C) talks to some of the returnees yesterday.  Saturday Times/Stephen Rwembeho.
Minister Mukantabana (C) talks to some of the returnees yesterday. Saturday Times/Stephen Rwembeho.

Government has assured Rwandans who have been kicked out of Tanzania since the beginning of this month of maximum support.

The assurance was given yesterday as a number of Cabinet ministers travelled to the Rusumo Border Post where they met those that had just crossed into the country before they proceeded to transit camps where the returnees are being temporarily hosted.

By yesterday, over 6,700 had been received by immigration officials on the Rwandan side of the border.

The ministers who travelled eastwards to show support to the deportees are; Seraphine Mukantabana, of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Jaqueline Muhongayire of EAC affairs and Alivera Mukabaramba, the state minister in charge of social welfare.

Addressing hundreds of the returnees, Minister Mukantabana said that government was committed to resettle and integrate them into the Rwandan social fabric.

“It is unfortunate that you were evicted in the manner we all know. But all Rwandans must know that their country can never get a substitute. Feel at home and be assured that you are loved by your leaders and fellow Rwandans,” she said.

Mukantabana said that the most vulnerable among the victims would be identified and will be given special treatment from the authorities, adding that government will hold talks with their Tanzanian counterparts to see how those who lost their property can have their rights restored.

“Children, pregnant mothers and those breast feeding will be accorded the necessary treatment.  A nursery school will be improvised so that the children can go to school...fixed and non fixed assets you left behind will be negotiated. We are optimistic that you will get your cows and other properties left behind.”

Muhongayire said that the dismissal was contrary to the EAC integration spirit, but expressed optimism that the planned negotiations between member states would yield amicable solutions.

“Xenophobia or any other sort of segregation is contrary to what the EAC stands for...we advocate for common people with common objectives. The eviction of the Rwandans came as a surprise, we hope negotiations will work,” she said.

The Tanzanians have termed those that have been evicted, who include those that have lived in the country for over five decades as illegal immigrants.

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