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Zanu PF warns SA over xenophobia

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ZANU PF has warned South Africa that the current xenophobic attacks rocking the neighbouring country were a serious security threat to the region as they undermined unity and peace efforts by Southern African leaders.

BY MOSES MATENGA/SILENCE CHARUMBIRA

This came amid growing calls for the South African government to act decisively in the spirit of African solidarity or risk being alienated from the regional groupings, Sadc and African Union (AU) for being complicit in the killings of foreigners, most of them economic and political refugees.

President Robert Mugabe chairs both Sadc and the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

Millions of foreigners were in danger with at least nine, among them two Zimbabweans, having been killed in the attacks in the neighbouring country in the last few days.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said the xenophobic attacks should be stopped forthwith.

“This barbarism must stop immediately otherwise our clarion call for unity in Sadc and the continent as a whole will be hollow,” Khaya Moyo said.

He said among deals signed by Zimbabwe and South Africa during Mugabe’s State visit to South Africa last week, none was signed to promote xenophobia.

“Zanu PF is alarmed by the xenophobic violence perpetrated on foreign nationals including hundreds of Zimbabweans living in South Africa,” Khaya Moyo, a former ambassador to South Africa, said.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera said South Africa must be taken to task by regional bodies if there was evidence of failure to address the xenophobic attacks.

“If there is evidence that South Africa’s response isn’t enough, it has to be held accountable and this matter should be raised in Sadc and AU. At the moment, the feeling is the government is not responding adequately. This has to be stopped,” Mangongera said.

“The problem is Mugabe is reluctant to do things that will upset the SA government. South Africa has been protecting the Mugabe regime, from the United Nations discussions, the Global Political Agreement and other areas. There was a recent visit also where Mugabe and his team were in South Africa for assistance and that explains why Mugabe is reluctant to say anything that may displease Pretoria. I also think that is why a planned demonstration at the South African embassy was stopped.”

He said what South Africans were doing was against the spirit of ubuntu and they should appreciate that they were beneficiaries of African solidarity that helped them acquire independence from the racist apartheid regime.

Hundreds of Harare residents from across the political and social divides mobilised to demonstrate at the South African embassy in the capital yesterday, but the protests were cancelled by police who claimed they were busy preparing for the Independence Day celebrations.

Mugabe has been silent since the attacks that brewed while he was in South Africa two weeks ago.

Civil society organisations have organised a peaceful protest at the South African embassy in Harare today from 10am-12 noon to protest against the xenophobia attacks.

Bitter messages were also coming from the Sadc region with groups in Malawi and Zimbabwe organising a Black Friday to boycott and reject all South African products in the respective countries.

National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said they had not given clearance for any march.

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