In light of FIFA World Cup, which is scheduled to commence in a week’s time ending July 2010 in South Africa, Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Home Affairs has formally requested International Organization for Migration (IOM) to assist with computerizing the county’s border posts and provide technical support in order to improve border management.
Zuzana Jankechova, spokesperson of IOM Zimbabwe has confirmed to the Sunday Standard in a statement that Marcelo Pisani, the Chief of Mission of IOM in Zimbabwe would officially hand over the relevant computer equipment to the Minister of Home Affairs at the Harare International Airport.
“The equipment is released in a bid to strengthen the capacity of the Department of Immigration Control to manage the flow of human traffic in line with international standards and specific regional agreements,” said Jankechova in the statement.
More specifically, her organization is supporting the Department to equip the Beitbridge border post and the Victoria Falls International Airport with computerised systems for data management and to refurbish the existing system of the Harare International Airport.
She also mentioned that the initiative fell under the framework of the National Migration and Development Strategy Matrix (2008 ÔÇô 2010), which was developed by the Government of Zimbabwe in coordination with IOM.
A data management system is fundamental for the effective management of cross-border movements at ports of entry/exit to allow the Department of Immigration Control to efficiently manage and control the cross border movements.
The system is also generally expected to provide the Department with operational intelligence relating to illegal movements and avail information for policy development and for assessing the efficacy of existing policies.
One government official, Programme Manager, Daiheiz Mochizuki has commented thus, “The project will contribute towards the overall capacity of the Department of Immigration Control to manage migration and pave the way for the Government of Zimbabwe to efficiently control borders and airports and effectively control the increased flow of people before, during and after the World Cup.”
Besides, the project has been viewed by the IOM as a sign of continued cooperation between them and the Department of Immigration Control. For that reason, IOM pledged to continue to help build the capacity of the Department in order to sustain the data management system put in place.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing the most in and out movement at its borders, largely ascribed to its unstable political and economic situation, which has led to an unprecedented mass exodus into neighbouring countries in search partly for greener pastures.