By Abel Karowangoro
ABOUT 143 Zimbabweans in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) risk being deported back home after embassy officials failed to assist them with consular services.
The recently opened embassy cannot issue new passports or even birth certificates due to unavailability of a “special pen” and ink with which to stamp and sign the documents.
Showbiz understands that the expiration of documents among Zimbabweans in the UAE is set to result in massive job losses and subsequent deportations.
“Many (Zimbabweans) have already Communication
their jobs due to expired passports, and hundreds more stand to lose their jobs,” said Pardon Runatsa, who is need of documents in UAE Communit.
“The total number of people and currently need assistance with regards to personal documents is 180, with such persons spread in places such as Dubai and Sharjah, among other Emirates.”
Runatsa told Showbiz that before the Zimbabwean embassy opened offices in the UAE, citizens there used to co-ordinate consular visits through the Zimbabwean embassy in Kuwait.
“In the past the Kuwait consular general would do attestations and birth certificate and passport applications and citizens would send the documents back home for processing.
“We had organised a consular visit as was our way of doing things for the past five years to assist those in need of passports and birth certificates.
The visit was due the coming weekend between August 7 and 10.
“But our efforts were blocked by the embassy in Abu Dhabi who help everyhing was under control, adding that they didn’t need help from Kuwait,” Runatsa added.
Efforts to get a comment from Ambassador Jetro Ndlovhu, who runs the Abu Dhabi embassy or the counselor Onismo Chigejo were fruitless.
An official at the Ministry of Industry and International Trade, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the team in Abu Dhabi was new and out of their depth.
“They are ignorant. They do not know what they are doing and need a lot of handholding from Harare. But then it is the Harare bosses that sent them there.
“The best thing here is to maintain the pressure so that bosses here discover the blunder they made and make corrections before it is too late,” said the official.
Job losses by Zimbabweans in the diaspora impact heavily on families back home and the economy in general.
The country receives about US$1 billion every year from diaspora remittances.
This money supports not just families back home but Zimbabwe’s fragile economy as well, which is thirsty for Forex inflows.