Mozambicans shun relocation


Some Mozambican asylum-seekers, who were among the 10,000 people to be relocated to Luwani Camp from Kapise, are ‘fleeing’ back to their communities in Mozambique.

This was revealed yesterday at Kapise Camp during the first trip of about 103 Mozambicans to Luwani Camp in Neno.

Several Mozambicans who were interviewed by The Daily Times at Kapise disclosed that the people who are returning to Mozambique said they do not want to go to Luwani because they are uncertain of the new life there.


One woman, whose brother is among those who have ‘fled’, told The Daily Times that her brother feared the problems they are facing would worsen at Luwani.

“We stayed for months without food here until they (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) brought us the next food supply last week. During those months, he was doing some piece-works to survive. He fears that if we go there, the same might happen but we will not have ways to find money to buy food”, Melina Sitoni said.

Another Mozambican said they were worried about going to Luwani Camp fearing a repeat of a cholera outbreak that they claim erupted at Luwani in the 90s.


The Daily Times witnessed a woman weep as she was boarding a truck on her way to the new place. According to her fellows, the woman was crying for her husband who had recently fled back to Mozambique despite registering for the relocation.

There were also complaints from the asylum seekers about Malawians surrounding the Kapise camp who they claimed have been coming to wrestle for some of the food aid at the camp.

Group Village Headman Charles Sam of Kapise confirmed the reports about the ‘fleeing groups’, saying that every morning, they wake up to the realization that some tents have been uprooted and occupants missing.

He, however, said they have not established the number of people that have left so far. The chief also added that the people had indeed gone hungry for months.

The village head disputed reports that the locals go to the camp to receive some of the food stuffs meant for the Mozambicans.

Meanwhile, UNHCR Senior Emergency Coordinator, Fadella Novak, said her organisation was aware that some Mozambicans have been returning home. She added that they plan to sensitize the people at Kapise that Luwani is ready and safe to host them.

“Communication is essential. We need to understand what barriers they are facing. We need to understand what is it in their mind that is not providing them with the safety, security and future that Luwani has provided them,” said Novak.

She disputed claims that the Mozambicans at Kapise had gone hungry for months.

“It’s not true that the people went for months without food supply. The food supplies were only delayed by a week because the roads were impassable”, said Novak.

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