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South Africa-based Zimbabweans blast Shava

ZIMBABWEAN immigrants residing in South Africa have blasted Foreign Affairs minister Fredrick Shava for not consulting them before meeting his counterpart Naledi Pandor.

Shava met the South African International Relations minister, at the mid-term review meeting of the third session of the Zimbabwe–South Africa bi-national commission in Pretoria on Wednesday where they also talked about the permits.

 

Pretoria has said it will not renew the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) when they expire in December.

After the meeting, Shava said government was ready to welcome back citizens who fail to meet requirements for new permits.

But the chairperson of Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (ZCSA), Ngqabutho Mabhena told NewsDay Weekender in an interview that they were troubled by the minister’s conduct.

“We only came to know of minister Shava’s visit through the media. The minister went straight to meet his South African counterpart without consulting us,” Mabhena said.

“Even when part of the issues to be discussed involved the documentation of ZEP, it was incorrect for the Minister to meet Minister Pandor before meeting us for a briefing.”

After the meeting, Shava also called out on Zimbabweans in South Africa to desist from committing crime in that country.

“Because he (Shava) was not informed, he failed to distinguish between the criminal networks from Zimbabwe and the ZEP holders who abide by the South African laws,” Mabhena said.

Zapu leader Sibangilizwe Nkomo added: “This man (Shava) is a good example of how not to be a Minister of Foreign Affairs. How does he say they are ready to welcome back Zimbabweans without first solving the problems that pushed them (people) away. Zimbabwe is worse now than the last time when ZEPs were renewed.”

South Africa has been tightening screws on foreign immigrants including Zimbabwean nationals residing in that country.

The neighbouring country has been witnessing pockets of protests against foreign immigrants. Some of the protests have been led by the vigilante Operation Dudula group.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) president Peter Mutasa commented: “The African National Congress (ANC) must choose to stand with Zimbabweans and assist them when we raise alarm against repression. It cannot continue to aid Zanu PF and cover up its repression at international forums while deporting citizens forced out of the country due to its ally’s poor governance.”

— NewsDay

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