via Post-election exodus floods Musina Refugee centre | SW Radio Africa By Tererai Karimakwenda
The chief patron at the Musina Refugee Centre in South Africa has reported a fresh wave of arrivals from Zimbabwe following the disputed July 31st elections, adding to the thousands there from across Africa who flee conflicts back home.
According to The Zimbabwean newspaper, the centre’s patron Pastor Simon said the increase was in the number of Zimbabweans “claiming to be victimised for voting for the MDC-T.
The paper said this centre, located 15km from the border post, currently has more than 8,000 Zimbabweans. Pastor Simon said most of them are sleeping in the open and the centre “cannot cope” with the influx.
“Very few of them are wounded but a lot seem to be traumatised and we have to arrange counselling for them,” Pastor Simon is quoted as saying.
Takavafira Zhou, president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), told SW Radio Africa that many people have started leaving the country again since the disputed elections because there is no hope in a ZANU PF government.
“So many people were hopeful that an MDC-T government was going to come into power and others had even come back home from outside the country hoping to stay. But people have lost hope,” Zhou explained.
He added that it is dangerous to try and cross the border into South Africa, but it is even more dangerous to stay in Zimbabwe “under a rogue ZANU PF government that uses patronage and violence”.
Zhou said unfortunately, the so-called greener pastures that many seek elsewhere “have turned brown” and there are very few opportunities for a better life.
Despite claiming to have won a landslide victory over the MDC-T and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, ZANU PF has waged a retribution campaign against those who supported the party in any way during the elections.
Illegal evictions, assaults and intimidation have been reported countrywide by those who stood as candidates, served as polling agents or helped campaign for the MDC-T. Innocent civilians accused of voting for the party have also been targeted, with the police taking no action against known ZANU PF perpetrators.