via Return home, Mugabe tells Zimbabweans – DailyNews Live 30 April 2015
HARARE – Despite the fact that thousands of Zimbabweans are fleeing the country seeking greener pastures abroad, President Robert Mugabe yesterday said they should return home — as he backed his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma who controversially said that foreigners are to blame for xenophobia.
Xenophobic violence in neighbouring South Africa has so far officially claimed seven lives and displaced thousands.
Speaking at the close of the Sadc Summit on the Industrialisation and Roadmap Strategy in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said Pretoria had put in place internal measures to deal with the attacks.
Contrasting sharply with some of his ministers, who have savaged Zuma, Mugabe said South Africa’s security forces were on high alert in xenophobia hit areas and said they were in the process of educating citizens on how to live with foreigners.
“We are sorry for South Africa…there are people who think South Africa is heaven on earth,” the 91-year-old said while responding to a question on the xenophobic attacks.
Mugabe made a passionate plea for people to return to their respective countries as there were some people in South Africa who lived less desirable lives.
“There are those who are skilled, the engineers, doctors whom South Africa needs but the majority are those who just jump and go to South Africa,” he added.
Mugabe, whose policies are blamed for reducing citizens to vendors and refugees, said some of Zimbabweans who had been extradited following the outbreak of the xenophobic attacks have since expressed a strong desire to go back.
“Our people must not have the instincts of rushing to South Africa. Even those who go to universities there do not want to remain there. I suppose the life is an attractive one…the big shops.”