Lovemore Lubinda

The Parliament of Zimbabwe yesterday deliberated on the currently hot and tropical issue of xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa.

Mabvuku-Tafara, Member of Parliament (MP) Honourable James Maridadi (MDC-T) moved the motion of xenophobic attacks before the adjournment of the House.

In his motion, Maridadi said; “I rise to move the adjournment of the House on the definite matter of public importance. I am gravely concerned with the xenophobic attacks on foreign national in South Africa.

“Further concerned that Zimbabweans as comprising the largest population of foreign nationals’ resident in that country and are targeted the most. Worried by some inflammatory utterances by the South African authorities’ particular the Mayor of Johannesburg,” he said.

He urged the House to call upon the South African government to take immediate action to stop the attacks, and to put in place measures that ensure the attacks will not recur and also the South Africans to implore their public officials to refrain from making inflammatory statements resulting in xenophobic attacks.

Almost all the MPs agreed with him, Hon Dexter Nduna said the issue of these attacks was disturbing and a direct attack on the Pan-Africanism spirit and violation of various human rights protocols.

“The Durban Declaration and Programme of action of 2001, the Durban Review Conference of 2009 and the outcome document was done to avert, reject, remove, and annihilate xenophobic attacks amongst other forms of racism, fascism and all that,” he said.

He added that it was shameful that S A is to be reminded to adhere to the norms, dictates, protocols and conventions that was enunciated and enacted in its own country and borders, he added that before talking of the current artificial national borders the two countries imbedded, in the times of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Hon Oliver Mandipaka weighed in saying; “If we did not want to be diplomatic, we were simply going to tell S A to stop it, but now that we want to be diplomatic we are making a call this afternoon in this House that S A please, please accommodate other nationals in your country, the same way we are accommodating other nationals here,” he said.

He said S A should be thankful for benefiting from our export of our skills and technical expertise into their economy, and added that though Zimbabwe may be facing economic and political challenges at the moment, nobody knows maybe South Africa might face a worse scenario.

The Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba, recently made some remarks that suggest that all foreigners were responsible for criminal activities in the country. Zimbabwe has attributed to have been a recipe for the attacks.

However, this has not been the first time in which a top authority had made remarks that cause trouble in that country. In 2015, South African Zulu king Goodwills Zwelithini made similar statements, in which he called for the deportation of all foreigners accusing them for competing with South African nationals on economic opportunities. This resulted in a wave of xenophobic attacks.