Bob’s shock reason for Zim exodus to SA

via Bob’s shock reason for Zim exodus to SA – New Zimbabwe 30/04/2015

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has incredibly suggested that the estimated one million-plus Zimbabweans said to be in South Africa are in the neighbouring country because of its “big shops”.

Mugabe said this after an exasperated President Jacob Zuma retorted that complaining African leaders should ask “why their citizens (are) not in their countries?”

Zuma was responding to the barrage of criticism over his government’s response to violent attacks on foreigners in South Africa.

And hosting regional leaders for a SADC summit in Harare Wednesday, President Mugabe fashioned a remarkable answer for Zuma’s “why are they here?” charge.

The veteran leader, who turned 91 this year, told journalists at a press conference that he also wondered about the reasons for the mass exodus of Zimbabweans to South Africa.

He then suggested that: “They (migrants) are, maybe, attracted to the big shops.

“But what does that mean when you are always in danger and looking over your shoulder that thieves will get at you once you are in a secluded place.”

Mugabe appeared oblivious to criticism that most of the Zimbabweans in South Africa are economic migrants, forced across the Limpopo by his disastrous – say opponents – 35 years in power.

Explained opposition MDC leader and former industry minister Welshman Ncube in an interview with Wednesday, “We’re literally importing 70-80 percent of what we used to produce only ten years ago.

“We are mining less than half of what we used to mine ten or so years ago; and the picture in all sectors of the economy indicates that the jobs which should be here we have literally exported them to South Africa which is our major trading partner.

“So inevitably our people will follow those jobs to where they have gone because of our own political and economic mismanagement.”

He added: “At independence in 1980, you will know that one in every seven Zimbabweans was in formal employment but today its one out of 16 with the population having more than doubled and all of that happened under Mugabe’s watch.

“So if only one out of 16 is in employment, where do you think 15 of the 16 are other than scrounging for a living elsewhere in the world where they can find a job?”

Mugabe out of touch

Ncube said Mugabe’s astonishing claim that migrants were going to South Africa to shop showed he was completely out of touch with reality.

“The unfortunate thing is that we have a government led by a 90-something-old man who should be telling fairytales to his grandchildren somewhere at home who is so detached from the reality of the situation and who does not even understand his own contribution and responsibility for the state of affairs.

“Clearly, a person who is always in a convoy of more than a dozen cars with blaring sirens has no reality check in terms of interaction with ordinary person in the streets.”

Ncube added: “(This is a person) who has not even the foggiest idea of what happens in a country that he supposedly runs (so) it’s understandable that basically he has no clue of the reality of the situation.

“You see, that is the problem with old age; if you are that old, you are out of touch with reality; you clearly have no clue how to undo the damage that you have done over a 35-year period.”

Mugabe refused to accept any responsibility for the spike in the number of Zimbabweans going to South Africa in the last decade-and-a-half during which the country has battled with a debilitating economic crisis.

“The people who are described as influx into South Africa are not pushed by governments,” said the Zanu PF leader.

“They are people who voluntarily go to South Africa. They think South Africa is the heaven, our heaven in southern Africa.”

Come back home

Asked what the solution for xenophobic attacks in South Africa was, Mugabe said foreigners there must return to their respective countries.

“Our people should not have the instinct of rushing into South Africa,” he said. “Our people must get back to their countries because those at home are very angry with the pictures coming out of South Africa.”

But most Zimbabweans have opted to risk further attacks by angry local mobs in South Africa than return home.

Rights groups say about 2,000 Zimbabweans returned after the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence while another 2,000 remain in refugee camps established by the South African authorities.

Most Zimbabweans have chosen to remain in South Africa rather than return home where unemployment is close to 80 percent, despite official figures putting it at 11 percent.

Explained economist John Robertson to IRIN news agency: “The situation could actually be worse than when these people went away.

“They fled Zimbabwe to look for better opportunities and are returning home to the very economic crisis they tried to run away from.”

Those returning can expect little to no help from the government.

Social welfare collapsed

“Our government has never had an unemployment benefit scheme or social security policy and is too broke to fund any intervention to help the returning Zimbabweans re-integrate,” Robertson added.

“It will thus leave everything to the extended family, hoping that relatives will cushion the returnees.”

Mugabe bounced bank into sole charge of the country after elections in 2013 promising to deliver two million new jobs but, nearly two years later, unemployment remains over 80 percent with the economy stubbornly remaining in the mire.

But Ncube said it was futile for Zimbabweans to expect a practically senile leader to solve problems he created when he was in better physical and mental health.

“You can imagine the futility of us putting in State House a person who is, for all practical purposes, senile and saying go an superintend the turning around of an economy that, in any event, he is responsible for running into the ground even during the days when he was mentally more capacitated,” said Ncube.

The future did not look any brighter either for the country.

“Even if today we were to put at State House a young, energetic, vibrant, intelligent and hardworking leader, it would be a monumental task to turnaround this economy, it would be a massive task,” said Ncube.


  • comment-avatar

    Mathonsi uyindoda siyabonga baba

  • comment-avatar
    JRR56 7 years ago

    Yeah they swim crocodile infested rivers, bear beatings and rish violence so they can get to those “BIG” shops.

  • comment-avatar

    Hmm . . .

    So much frothing – when those who have proved themselves capable of enriching the nation (white Zimbos) are relentlessly attacked. And the shame is that most citizens have not spoken out. So – in a way you deserve your poverty. Black Zimbos have brought it upon themselves. First by destroying agriculture and then by stealing anything they could. It is ironic that “the masses” have not benefitted, but the fat cats have. In fact “the masses” are in abject poverty, which they weren’t before white Zimbos were attacked.

    Think about that a bit

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    wensil 7 years ago

    Mugabe is totally detached from reality, this does not surprise me a little bit.

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    Zvakwana 7 years ago

    Proves he has completely lost it and should be put down.

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    Nyoni 7 years ago

    Mugabe reminds me of the two guys at The mad house . They are changing a light bulb. One says to the other go and get a new one. The other one replies you go and get one. This to and froying goes on forever in the darkness. Eventually another mad person enters the room and switches the switch on. Wham the room lights up. Bloody mad people exclaims the latest one I have got to help you all the time. This is ZanuPF in actiön . All mad people with no clue whatsoever.