Zimbabweans stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who have been pleading for repatriation upon losing jobs due to the Covid-19 related effects have finally gotten attention from government though they have lamented that announced air fares are exorbitant and beyond their reach.
A letter availed from the embassy to the stranded Zimbabweans show that the trip on Ethiopian Airways is tipped to leave for Zimbabwe on 13 June 2020 on a cost of USD1 361 on economy class.
In a similar arrangement, Ghanaians were charged USD1 361 for business class and half the cost for economy class.
Revelations are that in normal cases the trip on Emirates would cost USD600 to USD800 while either Ethiopian Airlines or Kenyan Airways would cost between USD380 and USD450.
Speaking to CommuTalk on conditions of anonymity for fear of victimisation, a source revealed that on top of exorbitant flight costs, government has not said a word on how it would assist those who indicated that they cannot afford transport costs but willing to come home.
“When we made engagements with government, there was an arrangement that they would assist those that are now out of travelling funds but the latest communication does not show that.
“As for us who had indicated that we can pay, the prices are too expensive for a one way ticket considering we have been cut off from work since the Covid-19 breakdown. Things are hard and we are now living a sorry life. We look forward to government that they revise these costs,” said the source.
CommuTalk understands that as of May 2020, when the stranded Zimbabweans called for help, the citizens in question were already living on handouts.