Aide says Bob not to blame for xenophobia

via Aide says Bob not to blame for xenophobia – Newzimbabwe 19 April 2015 by Nkosana Dlamini

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his government are not to blame for the mass migration of Zimbabweans to seek alternative sources of livelihood in neighbouring countries, presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, has said.

Mugabe’s controversial rule was back on the spotlight this past week following the outbreak of xenophobic attacks in parts of Johannesburg and the port city of Durban.

South Africa plays host to an estimated three million political and economic Zimbabwean refugees, who are joined by other nationals from different trouble spots on the continent.

Political opponents have accused the 91-year old leader of driving his people beyond the country’s borders through ruinous policies, endangering their lives in the process.

Asked to comment on the allegations in an exclusive interview with NewZimbabwe.com weekend, Charamba vehemently distanced his boss from the rot.

“Which Zimbabwean did he give passports to go to another country? Stop being crazy,” he said.

“If you are going to suggest that the economy of the country is defined by the President, then you are a very linguistic economist.”

He added: “We are in the middle of the sanctions and no one has told me that the Americans and the British who imposed those sanctions have driven Zimbabweans out of the country.”

President Mugabe is being accused of imposing populist policies that have seen foreign firms close shop to seek better investment conditions elsewhere.

While some have turned to the streets to eke out a living through vending in petty farm produce and imported trinkets, a great many have migrated.

But Charamba sees the problem beyond President Mugabe.

“Policies that deal with land reform are made for the same Zimbabweans you claim have been driven out but the sanctions have nothing to do with Zimbabweans?” he said.

“They have something to do with a small white minority whose land must not be possessed.

“Those millions were driven by the economic conditions which are not the creation of one person. They are a combination of different factors principally to do with the hostility of the Western world.

“Is Mozambique being run by President Mugabe? Is Malawi being run by President Mugabe?”

A great many locals now find themselves in foreign territories after fleeing state repression under President Mugabe’s regime.

Charamba, likewise, differs.

“Are you by the same token suggesting to me that you have written to Barack Obama to explain the same violence that is being meted out against blacks in America? Why are we cruel in judging own leaders when, in fact, we are so liberal with the outsider?

Asked if the 1980s Gukurahundi atrocities meted out on civilians in Mateleleland at the instigation of President Mugabe’s regime did not contribute to political refugees in South Africa, Charamba denied this.

“I hate people who try and turn the 1980s disturbances into a political football. Those have been atoned for and anyone who brings that argument to bear on the South African situation which is happening to Zimbabweans to me that person is not only cheap but also hypocritical.

“Why is Gukurahundi always raised at a time when there is an issue that is contemporary? That issue was atoned for.

“The President described it as a moment of madness. He was contrite about it. He went the length and breadth of this country with Joshua Nkomo, explaining and apologising to people. I was part of it.

“So don’t invoke this argument for convenience simply because you want to shut up the President. You will not shut him up.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar

    Hey, Charamba!

    “PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his government are not to blame for the mass migration of Zimbabweans to seek alternative sources of livelihood in neighbouring countries, presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, has said.”

    Very funny indeed

  • comment-avatar

    “Those millions were driven by the economic conditions which are not the creation of one person. They are a combination of different factors principally to do with the hostility of the Western world”

    Yep, I am NOT ze one!!!!!! Those demned “sanctions” eh?

  • comment-avatar
    Ruth Bonikki 7 years ago

    Amusing Article. Killing 20,000 people because they live in Matebeland is xenophobia – nice try on the attempt to twist the truth, what a load of rubbish. Mugabe HATES whites, racism and xenophobia combined. The government IS responsible for the economy, that is what they are in power to govern, though of course for Mugabe, he is in power to stamp on people and take what they have, not to be answerable to the people in the country.