Controversial Zimbabwe Deputy Minister for Information and Publicity, Energy Mutodi, has been condemned for saying that Ndebele people who are Zimbabwean citizens are actually South Africans who were given refuge north of the Limpopo while fleeing from Tshaka. Mutodi made the remarks in the context of the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa that have affected thousands of Zimbabweans including Ndebeles who have suffered violence in the neighbouring country.
In a short video on South Africa violence, Mutodi said:
For South Africa in Zimbabwe here if you didnt know, just about 1836 we accommodated thousands of South Africans who came into Zimbabwe fleeing from Shaka, and they were being led by Mzilikazi…at least 3 million Zimbabweans have South African origin.
Below are some of the reactions from Zimbabweans on Twitter:
Alex Magaisa: He represents his master, the man behind him in that portrait. If he didn’t have his blessings he would no longer be in his role as Minister. He never had a moral compass & he has shown it time & again. No reprimand. Ultimately, his appointing authority is responsible for his man.
Hopewell Chin’ono: Please @energymutodi stop this historical revisionism. Ndebeles are not South African, they are Zimbabwean. My great-grandfather came from modern-day Mozambique, I am not Mozambican, I am Zimbabwean! We should push back against divisive drivel! Address xenophobia. Don’t inflame it!
David Coltart: This is a remarkable statement which ZANU-PF needs to clarify. What does @nickmangwana have to say about this? Does ZANUPF accept a Constitutional birthright or not?
Pedzisai Ruhanya: Now is saying that Zimbabweans in Matebeleland are South Africans who are staying in Zimbabwe at the benevolence of ZANU PF regime. How wrong and misguided can one be? Are you suggesting Zimbos can be xenophobic against Zimbos in Matebeleland? How ignorant?
Allowing Mutodi to open his mouth is asking for disaster. This man is possessed by idiocy!
Mduduzi Mathuthu: They have moved on from whites David. Ndebeles are being reminded today that they are refugees “accommodated” from South Africa. Scary!
Fadzayi Mahere: Disgusting. But what’s even more troubling is that nobody in Govt is censuring him. They agree with his views but use him as a court jester to communicate their position. Sad.
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