By Staff Reporter
Harare, February 28, 2017 – THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says President Robert Mugabe’s government should also shoulder the blame in a case in which Zimbabweans and other immigrants have been the target of recurrent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
South Africa’s restive population has reignited its demands for foreigners making a living in Africa’s second largest economy to leave their country arguing they took their jobs and were also involved in crime.
This has been accompanied by attacks on immigrants some of them turning fatal.
Zimbabweans, who constitute the largest migrant population in South Africa have also been targeted.
But the Tendai Biti led party said on Monday that the Zimbabwean government should also take the blame for citizens’ suffering on foreign lands.
“The government of Zimbabwe must also take responsibility for creating an unpalatable environment which has resulted in many leaving the country in search of greener pastures thereby end up exposed to situations which many find themselves in today in South Africa,” said PDP in a statement.
South African President Jacob Zuma once torched as storm through comments which questioned the reasons why other nationals continued to flock to his country while their nationals continued to blame the ANC led administration for allegedly failing to effectively deal with xenophobic attacks South Africa.
“Our brother countries contribute to this. Why are their citizens not in their countries?” Zuma once said during the height of the 2015 attacks.
“It is not useful to criticise South Africa as if we mushroom these foreign nationals and then ill-treat them. Some (immigrants) said if you raise your voice in country X you disappear.
“Everybody criticises South Africa as if we have manufactured this problem. Even if people who are xenophobic are a minority, but what prompts these refugees to be in South Africa? It’s a matter we cannot shy away from discussing.”
Following the recent attacks, Nigerians last week attacked and vandalised premises belonging to South African telecoms firm, MTN in Abuja forcing the closure of the offices.
Attacks on South African haulage trucks have also been reported before in Mozambique.
But PDP urged Zimbabweans not to retaliate.
“…We urge the people of Zimbabwe to remain peaceful, avoid retaliating but instead focus on efforts that will bring a lasting political and economic solution to avoid a situation where many of our people end up exposed to xenophobic attacks, human trafficking among other dangers immigrants,” said the opposition party, further condemning some South African political figures for “inflammatory utterances”.RadioVop