300 refugees resettled at Maheba, Mayukwayukwa

By Nation Reporter

OVER three hundred Congolese refugees have been resettled at Mayukwayukwa and Maheba Refugee camps following the recent looting of shops owned by foreign nationals on allegations that they were involved in ritual killings, says Ministry of Home Affairs.

And Parish Priest at St Ignatius Father Charles Chilinda said only one Rwandese family was actually a victim of the riots and looting that affected over 1000 refugees living in various parts of Lusaka.

Ministry of Home Affairs Principal Refugee Officer Vincent Chibuye said of the 334 refugees recently moved to the two refugee camps, his office had only recorded 25 Rwandese and 22 Burundese nationals.

He said Congolese refugees were the majority of those housed at St. Ignatius Catholic Church (Kalemba Hall) compared to those of other nationalities.

Mr Chibuye said Government had expedited the process of normalising the refugee status for most affected foreign nationals housed at Kalemba Hall and was in the process of determining their status in order to resettle them at the two refugee camps.

“We are hoping that by Tuesday, all those who have registered with our office may have legal documents to determine their status in the country, including settlement at the refugee camps. We do not want to have anybody here at Kalemba Hall,” he said.

And Father Chilinda explained that very few Rwandese nationals had been among those who sought shelter at the temporal refugee centre at Kalemba Hall as most of those who registered returned to their various communities.

Father Chilinda said only one Rwandese family complained of their shop being looted and destroyed which the Church was addressing in order to help them resume doing business.

He said the largest number of those at Kalemba Hall comprised Congolese nationals and that majority of them did not have documentation.

Father Chilinda said over 90 per cent of those dispatched to the refugee camps were Congolese refugees who ran away from Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Father Chilinda said there were some questionable elements which required more verification to ascertain their actual situation if they were indeed part of the affected group of foreign nationals.

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