AT LEAST 76 Tanzanians who were wrongly evicted from their country alongside Rwandans returned back on Friday.
The new development came barely two days after East African Community (EAC)’s legislators and the bloc’s Secretariat officials visited the evictees in Kinuzi camp in Eastern Province’s Kirehe District.
The evictees included children, mothers, old men, and young women from Tanzania’s Kagera region.
The Tanzanians were ferried in the Rwandan Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (Midmar)’s vehicles across Rusumo border back to their country.
Sabin Gogo, one of those returned to Tanzania, told The New Times that she couldn’t wait to be reunited with her family.
“I don’t know when I will see my children and husband but at least I can see I am heading back to Tanzania. I am extremely happy with the government of Rwanda for the care and good treatment they gave us well knowing we never belonged to their country,” she said.
Most of the Tanzanians that were chased alongside Rwandans were victims of their physical appearance, the evictees said.
Monica Karunguba, 15, said she was told that she resembled Rwandans and thus had to leave.
“It’s a dream come true (going back home), but I am afraid I may find national exams finished. I was preparing for P.7 exams when I was told that I was Rwandan. We are victims of an exercise that was done haphazardly,” she said, shedding tears.
“I have experienced suffering at an early age when not even my father was nearby to comfort me”.
The Mayor of Kirehe District, Protais Murayire, accompanied the Tanzanians as they crossed the border.
“The people we sent back had made it clear from day one that they were not Rwandans. But it took us some time to negotiate to be able to take them back home. It gives us relief because we wanted them to move back to their homes,” he said.
Rusumo border is currently busy with human traffic as hundreds of evicted Rwandans continue to arrive.