via Zimbabweans still flocking to SA – DailyNews Live 17 April 2015
BULAWAYO – Locals here are still trekking to South Africa amid the growing reports of violence against foreigners spreading from Durban to Johannesburg.
It was business as usual at the bus terminus along George Silundika Street in Zimbabwe’s second largest city where a number of people were busy making their bookings.
Brian Munemo, Eagle Liner manager at the Bulawayo sub-office, said while xenophobic attacks have shocked all and sundry, trips to South Africa have remained fully booked.
“The business is as usual and we have not felt the effects of the xenophobic attacks currently happening in South Africa,” Munemo said.
An official at the Greyhound bus company who declined to be named said they were taking on their usual trips despite the xenophobic attacks.
“We are recording normal bookings both to and from; nothing has really changed as of now maybe as we go forward.”
Officials from Bravo and Zebulon bus companies, who also declined to be named, shared the same sentiments.
Gibson Masike, a tout at the bus termini, said he did not witness any dampening of business by the xenophobic attacks.
“Bulawayo being Bulawayo is a different city in Zimbabwe,” Masike said.
“So when people buy tickets to go to South Africa, they are like people boarding buses to their rural area.
“No matter how much fear may be imposed by the South Africans, people here have taken South Africa as their actual home. Believe you me, many Zimbabweans from Bulawayo are to some extent safe because they have made themselves look like South Africans.”
Masike said most of his colleagues living in the neighbouring country were in possession of South African identity cards simply because they have been there for a long time now.
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini recently torched a storm when he remarked that foreigners must “pack their bags and go home.”
The statements ignited the attacks, which have since been condemned not only by the Zimbabwean government but the international community as well.