Home affairs Permanent Secretary Ndiyoyi Mutiti says government has no intentions of integrating refugees in the Zambian society.
Ms.Mutiti said integrating refugees in society can be done once a policy decision is made by government.
She said ministry has no immediate plans for refugee integration as earlier suggested by stakeholders during the world refugee day celebrations in Lusaka last June.
The permanent secretary told ZANIS in Lusaka today that it is not automatic that when you become a refugee you have to stay in that country.
She said that currently government is working closely with UNHCR on the process on repatriation alone.
Ms. Mutiti has charged that government wants to reduce the number of refugees as soon as possible.
She has since appealed to refugees to consider returning to their home country during this repatriation and cessation period.
The cessation period for refugees from Angola ends on the 31 of December and the cessation period for all refuges in Zambia ends on the 31 of December 2011.
She said that all refugees should be in camps unless those who have applied for work permit or to conduct businesses.
“No refugees are allowed to make business outside the refugee camps without a permit from relevant officials.
She added that professional refugees are free to apply for work permits in their different fields.
When asked about refugees married to Zambians, Ms. Mutiti said once a policy decision is made refugees married to Zambian can opt to or not to go with them to their country of origin.
She charged that there is no law allowing refugees who are married to Zambians to stay in the country on such a condition.
[ ZANIS ]