The Zimbabwean government is to blame for the situation faced by Zimbabwean citizens in South Africa, as they were forced to seek refuge to that country by Zanu PF’s misrule, the MDC Alliance has said.
The opposition stressed it was due to Zanu PF’s anti-poor policies that had driven Zimbabweans away, while the country had become “one of the worst governed countries in the world.”
On November 25, 2021, the South African government announced it would no longer be extending Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEP), which expire on December 31 2021 and urged holders of the current permits to move to other permits or leave the country by the end of next year.
“South Africa’s latest position will affect more than 182 000 Zimbabweans,” said MDC Alliance Secretary for Diaspora Affairs and Mobilisation, Clifford Hlatywayo in a press statement urging Zimbabwe’s government to end bad governance and protect citizens domiciled in South Africa.
“We respect the decision of the South African government and we appreciate South Africa’s help. The nation has repeatedly supported Zimbabwean citizens who were fleeing poverty, injustice and corruption.”
Hlatywayo said Zimbabweans left their country in search of better opportunities and jobs following the socio-economic and political crisis created by the Zanu PF regime in Harare.
“As a social democratic party whose core value is to champion a better society for the people of Zimbabwe, we are extremely concerned with the plight of our brothers and sisters who have become perpetual victims of the authorities that deliberately renege on their responsibility to serve and protect the people,” said the MDC Alliance official.
He claimed that at the core of Zimbabwe’s problem is a legitimacy crisis flowing from the disputed election of 2018, the illegal and unconstitutional accumulation of wealth through looting, corruption and abuse of state institutions.
Hlatywayo noted that South Africa, SADC and the rest of Africa will have to deal with the “harsh reality that as long they ignore the call to encourage the Zimbabwean government to conduct free and fair elections, observe the rule of law, respect human rights and other key constitutional mandates,” the immigration problems would continue to affect them.
“Instead of championing a better society anchored on democratic values, the regime in Harare is focusing on authoritarian consolidation,” Hlatywayo said.
“As the MDC Alliance we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters domiciled in South Africa. We are appealing to SADC to assist the struggle by playing their part to hold the regime to account when they abuse the citizens and practice bad governance contrary to the principles enshrined in the SADC Treaty.
“Our recently launched Diaspora Affairs and Mobilisation Department will be fully seized with this issue, engaging with stakeholders to find a lasting solution within the 12 months grace period by the South African government.”
The Secretary for Diaspora Affairs said their message to all the affected individuals and families in South Africa was the party would “not leave any Zimbabwean behind, as we prepare for the 2023 election victory by President Nelson Chamisa.”