Zimbabwe: The search begins
- This picture is all Jessina Kokai has to remember her son. The 43-year-old mother has registered a tracing case with the ICRC to help find her son Shepherd Murambi who went missing in 2016. Jessina says Shepherd is now 21 years old.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Khatija Nxedlana
- “It pains me when I think about my mother.” These are the only words 28-year-old Erica Tusai could muster before bursting into tears at the mere thought of her mother, Monica Tusai. Monica went missing when traveling to South Africa in 2006. It’s even more painful as Erica is expecting her own child.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Khatija Nxedlana
- “His absence is very painful because you hear that some people’s children have come back and yours is not coming. It is painful waiting and hoping that your child will come back,” says Changani Vakisai Mutegwa. His son, Rangarirai, left their home in Mutegwa village, Zaka district 30 years ago to work in South Africa never to be heard from again.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Khatija Nxedlana
- Jackson Mazarira and Eustina Mabutho sitting outside their home in Mazarira village in Zaka district together with the ICRC Restoring Family Links field officer Unita Ndou. They have filed a tracing request to search for Eustina’s brother, Happison Mabutho, who left for South Africa in 2006 and has been missing since.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Khatija Nxedlana
- In Chimwango village, Zaka District we found 55-year-old Monica Mlambo. Monica is searching for her brother, Fidas Mlambo, who went missing in 2004. Enabling families to receive clear answers about the fate of their loved ones is one of the key priorities of this project.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Khatija Nxedlana
Changani Vakisai Mutegwa, Eustina Mabutho and Erica Tusai – a father desperate to find his son, a sister in search of her brother, a daughter looking for her mother. They represent dozens of families in Zimbabwe searching for relatives who migrated to South Africa in search of better opportunities and went missing.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recently traveled to Zaka district in Masvingo Province to meet families with missing relatives, gather as much information about their loved ones to assist with the search in South Africa.
Our assistance to them forms part of Missing and Deceased Migrants Pilot Project which is now in Phase Two. The aim of the project is to ensure that the families of missing or deceased migrants receive clear answers about the fate of their loved ones and to improve the way families, public authorities and forensic practitioners share information used to search for and identify missing and deceased migrants.