The Zimbabwean Embassy in Pretoria has issued a statement distancing itself from a statement issued by the ZANU PF Sandton chairperson Advocate Simba Chitando who alleged that he had a meeting with the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to South Africa to discuss a bill that will see South Africa paying hefty charges for using Zimbabwe airspace.
Chitando said the Bill shall be called the Dr Motsoaledi Aviation Bill.
Read the full Embassy statement below:
1. The Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the Republic of South Africa is aware of a statement that is circulating on social media circles bearing the crest of the Office of Advocate Simba Chitando, dated 30 December 2021 and titled “ZANU PF SANDTON DISCUSSION: THE DR MOTSOLEDI AVIATION BILL”.
2. In its opening paragraph, the document claims that a meeting took place on 23 December 2021 between the ZANU PF Sandton Branch, the ZEP Leaders, and the Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa.
This is a total falsehood. The Zimbabwean Ambassador has never had a meeting with the ZANU PF Sandton Branch. The Embassy denounces in the strongest terms this attempt to associate it with this unhelpful statement.
3. The Embassy wishes to inform you that a meeting that took place on 23 December 2021 was between the Ambassador and some ZEP leaders as part of the Embassy’s engagement with holders of the ZEP. That meeting was solely confined to ZEP-related issues and aspects and nothing else. The meeting was non-partisan.
4. The Embassy is deeply concerned by the content and tone of this statement which is diametrically opposed to the maintenance and strengthening of the excellent bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
5. The Embassy reiterates the government of Zimbabwe’s acknowledgment and acceptance of the sovereign decision by the government of the Republic of South Africa to not renew the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) on its expiry at 31 December 2021 and to extend a 12 month grace period to ZEP holders to regularize their stay in South Africa in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations of the country.
6. The Embassy urges Zimbabwean nationals in South Africa to comport themselves in a manner that promotes good relations between the two countries’ peoples and governments.