As the effects of the Covid-19 induced hit harder, Zimbabweans in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have sent a message pleading with government to arrange them a trip back home.
Speaking to CommuTalk in a telephone interview, a representative of the stuck group; Patience Nyagura said they have tried reaching out to government with little success.
It is also to the attention of this publication that most Zimbabweans in the country are now surviving on handouts since losing their jobs upon closure of companies as a way to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“We have been stuck here for months and life is getting more difficult as each day passes. We can afford our own travel costs but efforts to arrange a home bound plane has hit a brick wall as we are told that is government business.
“Efforts to reach out to the embassy have also been fruitless as it only appears on paper. Going through the former consulate has also not brought much as the contact person keeps on procrastinating arrangements,” said Nyagura.
Nyagura also hinted that if assistance is not rendered by end May, many will risk spending money saved for flights to sustain a living. She further said many are already surviving on Ramadan handouts as hardships continue to strike.
“The situation is getting worse as each day passes. If we don’t get assistance from government, many will be forced to spend money served for flights.
“Currently, some are already surviving on donations from well wishers. It’s also Ramadan season this side so many have managed a meal from the season’s handouts,” Nyagura added.
The community has to date received only one mail from the embassy instructing them to coordinate, through one Clemence Mangwana, and come up with total number of people that needs repatriation.
Documentation also show that 154 people need repatriation though the affected residents say numbers are much more higher than those being given by the embassy representative.
Investigation carried out also show that most affected people were in UAE on visiting visas, while some genuinely lost their jobs due to job cuts that emerged on announcement of lockdown.
Foreigners also affected were offered only accommodation fees and flight tickets once their governments arrange travel logistics.
UAE cut its workforce by 70% leading to many people losing their jobs.
The development emerges amid announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zimbabwe that they are committed to repatriate nationals stranded in foreign nations. The Ministry this month also announced that an embassy is open in the UAE in their embassy restructuring process.
UAE announced an indefinite lockdown with their statistics standing at 26 004 cases, 233 deaths and 11 809 recoveries.