Botswana to Repatriate 52 Namibian Refugees

  • 33 in BaHerero and Ovanderu group are school-going children
  • Namibian delegation in Maun is keen on repatriation to begin




The Governments of Botswana and Namibia are engaged in discussions about repatriating 52 Namibian nationals who have already renounced their Botswana citizenship.

According to the Assistant District Commissioner of the North West District, Ramogaupi Gaborekwe, the group – which is made up of BaHerero and Ovanderu, 33 of whom are school-going children – has shown interest in relocating to their country since 2013.

They are from the villages of Makakung, Semboyo, Bothatogo, Tsau and Maun where an official delegation from Namibia has been meeting with authorities about the repatriation.

Property registered

Said Gaborekwe at a meeting with the Namibian delegation in Maun last week: “Fifteen of them are currently benefitting from the old-age pension scheme while one is registered under the destitute programme and has benefitted from destitute housing.”

The purpose of the engagement was to ascertain Namibia’s readiness to receive the group. Gaborekwe said 49 of the Namibian refugees had registered their movable and non-movable property.

He informed the Namibian delegation that 285 cattle, 175 goats, 92 sheep, 6 horses, 40 donkeys, 16 dogs, 60 chickens, and various indigenous and exotic trees were registered.


21 hectares of land 

For his part, the Governor of Otjozondjupa region in Namibia, James Uerikua, said the Namibian government has put several measures in place, including 21 hectares of land with water and electricity connections, to accommodate the returnees.

He added that transport from the border and a ceremony to welcome them have been arranged. “We take the process seriously and have done our best to put systems in place,” Uerikua noted.

“We have been ready since April to receive the group and want them to start arriving before July 27 this year because if the facilities idle for long, they will be exposed to vandalism.

Batswana of Namibia descent

“The cabinet has also instructed relevant authorities to strengthen the health services and the Ministry of Health is busy recruiting nurses to beef up the existing ones.

“We therefore appeal to the Botswana Government to facilitate Batswana of Namibia descent who are ready and do not have belongings or assets to relocate first so that they occupy the structures in place.”

The Namibian delegation noted that their government has also secured a commercial farm for those with livestock to keep their animals, adding that arrangements have been made with some schools to welcome the learners in the group.