We’ve evacuated 118 Zimbos from Ukraine: Govt

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Monica Mutsvangwa

PHYLLIS MBANJE/MIRIAM MANGWAYA
GOVERNMENT on Tuesday said it had evacuated 118 Zimbabwean students from war-torn Ukraine whose air tickets were being processed to enable them to return home.

Last week, government said it was issuing clearance letters to rescue thousands of Zimbabweans caught up in the Russia-Ukraine war to ensure their safe passage to neighbouring countries.

Of the 118 students, 28 have been evacuated to Romania, 15 to Hungary, 26 to Slovakia and 49 to Poland.

Addressing a post-Cabinet media briefing, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government was in the process of buying their air tickets.

“Cabinet would like to reassure the nation that the government is taking all necessary steps to evacuate students and other nationals from Ukraine following the outbreak of war with Russia,” she said.

“The country’s missions to Moscow and Berlin are facilitating the evacuation mission. There is a mission official who is currently based in Poland to assist those that need to be repatriated. You will continue to be updated on the situation of students in Ukraine.”

This comes as the African Union (AU) slammed racist actions against Africans, mainly students, fleeing the war in Ukraine, who were being denied access to safe zones.

In a statement, AU chairperson who is also Senegal President, Macky Sall, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat jointly condemned the events which they said they had been “following closely”.

“We are particularly disturbed by reports that African citizens on the Ukrainian side of the border are being refused the right to cross the border to safety. All people have the right to cross international borders during conflict and, as such, should enjoy the same rights to cross to safety from the conflict in Ukraine, notwithstanding their nationality or racial identity,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa also announced that government had increased board fees and sitting allowances for non-executive directors of public entities.

“The current board fees and sitting allowances had fallen far below the market trends and no longer motivated State enterprises and parastatals non-executive directors to devote sufficient time to the business of their entities,” she said.

“Since the boards of directors’ major role is providing effective and entrepreneurial leadership, it is necessary to put in place an attractive remuneration package in order to attract high calibre, experienced and skilled individuals to the boards.”

Mutsvangwa said census mapping and a pilot census had been successfully completed, paving the way for the 2022 population and housing census.

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