Fearing further xenophobic violence in South Africa, an increasing number of Zimbabweans there are sending their valuables back home for safekeeping. Companies operating border crossings says there has been a huge increase in unaccompanied baggage being repatriated by bus.
NewZimbabwe quotes Farisai Nyamadzawo, a domestic worker who lives with her husband and two children, who said they had spent R6,000 to have two refrigerators, a stove, a set of couches and a washing machine transported to Zimbabwe. ‘I was afraid I would end up losing everything’.
Recent attacks on immigrants by members of the Operation Dudula Movement and PutSouthAfricaFirst have alarmed many foreign residents. Recently a Zimbabwean, Elvis Nyathi, was beaten and set alight outside his home. He was buried last week in Bulawayo (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/sa-xenophobic-attacks-terrified-zimbabweans-sending-their-possessions-home/).
The question of xenophobia in South Africa was discussed on Thursday in an online debate organised by the Zimbabwe organisation Sapas Trust. Dale McKinley of Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia said that since 1994 South Africa had presented itself as a leader of the African continent but had not produced any leadership. ‘The South African state, when confronted with economic and political situations in Zimbabwe in 2000, 2005 and 2008 kept silent, with “silent diplomacy”’ McKinley said.
Another speaker Chipo Dendere, assistant professor of African Studies at Wellesley College in the United States, said the crumbling Zimbabwe economy had seen an exodus of unskilled Zimbabweans who settled in South African townships which were already disadvantaged (see: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2022-04-22-is-sa-xenophobic-and-why-are-zimbabweans-rejected-experts-discuss/).
In a withering account of President Mnangagwa’s speech at the 42nd Independence Day celebrations in Bulawayo on Monday, Newsday noted that he asked the diaspora for investment but said nothing about the diaspora vote. It says ‘It is not rocket science to know why the diaspora vote is not top priority. Zanu PF thinks they are angry with the party and they would overwhelmingly vote for the opposition. Zanu PF does not countenance being out of power. It thinks it has a messianic role to lead Zimbabwe.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/04/ed-dithers-on-policy/.)
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s biggest industrial lobby group, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, has warned that the local currency is on the ‘brink of rejection’. President Mnangagwa said the government would take stern action against companies allegedly sabotaging the Zimbabwean dollar to fuel an uprising. He alleged that companies were working with outsiders (see: https://thestandard.newsday.co.zw/2022/04/24/zimdollar-collapse-ed-fears-uprising/).
- President Mnangagwa is reported to have approved US $1 billion worth of projects proposed by a tycoon from the United Arab Emirates. NewZimbabwe said the company MULK Holdings plans to launch several cricket leagues as well as health centres and developments at Victoria Falls (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/uae-tycoon-to-invest-us1billion-investment-in-zim/).
- Our virtual Vigil activists today were Babula Gwatiringa and Amina Matewele who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720298331656 for today’s photos.
- For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
Events and Notices:
- Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 7th May at 11 am.
- Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Saturday 7th May from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
- The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
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