ZIMBABWEANS who sought refugee status in neighbouring Botswana risk being kicked out as Defence, Justice and Security minister Ramadeluka Seretse has indicated that the political environment was now stable and safe for asylum seekers to return home.
Scores of Zimbabweans fled to Botswana citing political persecution.
According to Botswana media, Seretse stated that most of them were given asylum status during Zimbabwe’s political crisis which led to people fleeing the country.
Seretse said the Zimbabwean situation had improved.
It is not clear how many Zimbabweans sought refugee status, but a sizeable number of Zimbabweans fled to Botswana at the height of political instability in 2008.
They were housed at Dukwi Refugee Camp in north-eastern Botswana.
In June, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Botswana said it had resumed a voluntary repatriation programme for hundreds of Zimbabwean refugees who fled to Botswana from political persecution in the last decade.
It is understood that Botswana has already informed some refugees that the government intends to repatriate them.
However, most of the refugees from Zimbabwe have asked the government to absorb them in the community rather than send them back to Zimbabwe.
An estimated three million Zimbabweans reportedly fled the country at the height of the 2008 political persecution and hyper-inflationary pressure and sought refuge in the Diaspora.
Most of the exiles are said to be undocumented.
This comes as more than 200 000 Zimbabweans, who were issued with special permits in South Africa four years ago are also in danger of being deported.
The permits are set to expire before the end of this year.
The permits were issued to Zimbabweans in the 2009 special dispensation process to legalise their stay in South Africa.