Leader of South Africa’s opposition political party, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema has urged Zimbabweans domiciled in South Africa to go home and vote in the 2023 harmonised elections in order to remove Zanu PF from power.
Malema, who has always been vocal against xenophobia and anti-migrant sentiments targeting Africans, said Zimbabweans had a civic duty to participate in their elections so that they deliver a progressive government to change their fortunes.
Speaking at a Freedom Day celebrations event in Tshwane Wednesday, the EFF leader assured Zimbabweans the country would always provide a home to them but pleaded for them to go back to Zimbabwe and vote for change.
“Zanu PF has destroyed what was a promising land for Zimbabwe and the current leader of Zimbabwe (Emmerson Mnangagwa) is as clueless as the South African leader (Cyril Ramaphosa). They are the same like they are twins. So, to the people of Zimbabwe, we want to make a plea, please when you are here, don’t worry, you are at home but when there are elections at home go there in your numbers and vote,” he called out.
“Remove that nonsense that is happening in Zimbabwe and come back if you want to come back. You cannot just fold your hands. The people of Zimbabwe must rise here in South Africa and go to vote for a proper government in Zimbabwe.”
Malema emphasised that solving the Zimbabwe crisis required civic collective action.
“Let’s help each other so that there is a proper government in Zimbabwe and will bring a proper government in South Africa, we become one big happy family,” he said to applause.
“Let’s not be comfortable and think no, ‘all is well, as long as we are in South Africa.’”
He urged Zimbabweans to remember that voting was their part in delivering a better Zimbabwe.
“Let’s not forget that as Zimbabweans we have a duty at home to deliver a progressive government that will respect human rights, that will make sure the economy of Zimbabwe grows, make sure it defeats poverty and unemployment,” Malema said.
“A progressive and developing Zimbabwe is a solution to the problems of South Africa so we want to help Africans who are helping themselves.
The firebrand leader argued that once South Africans are done with xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, such as Nigerians and Zimbabweans, their anger will turn to small tribes within the country such as the Shangaan people.
He said once foreign nationals are out of South Africa, depending on the province, locals would start blaming other tribes for the unemployment crisis.
Malema used the example of telling Zulu people to go back to KwaZulu Natal and Xhosa people to return to the Eastern Cape, noting that poverty, hunger and inequality would remain, as forcing foreign nationals out of the country will not solve the country’s unemployment crisis.