Who will tame lawlessness in SA?

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LETTERS

IT is an open secret that South Africa has been a magnet for immigration for the past decades and the ANC government should put  in place tight measures to protect foreign nationals (Zimbabweans included) who are living in that country.

In recent days, the controversial Operation Dudula Movement took to the streets in Soweto, Johannesburg, Hillbrow, Alexandra — campaigning against undocumented foreign nationals.

And many hawkers at Pan Africa Square and other places had their stuff and stalls destroyed or looted despite possessing requisite documents.

This level of lawlessness is shocking and some of their claims are meaningless and unsupported by facts.

Sadly and unbeknown to the protesters, these foreigners are playing a critical role in boosting the country’s economy.

I believe some of the foreigners, especially container hawkers, are creating opportunities in South Africa;  they are not criminals.

There is a thin line between law enforcement and ensuring the safety, security and dignity of foreigners because they have rights too, so they should be protected from intimidation and harassment.

History tells us that in 2008, 2015 and 2019 there were waves of attacks across the country against foreigners and dozens of people were reported dead, mostly in Durban and Johannesburg.

What we see is a hardening of positions as Operation Dudula is increasing its activities.

If truth be told, it is the duty of the Home Affairs Department and police to stop people and ask for documentation, but once that responsibility is placed in the hands of hooligans, then chaos and xenophobic attacks will become  the order of the day.

Also, there is a growing group called Operation Fiyela that is targeting non-foreigners. We don’t want to witness yet another outbreak of xenophobic violence. Hopefully, campaigns against foreigners will not morph into violence because many people are already living in fear.

As Africans, we should not sow seeds of hatred among ourselves — Africa is one. There are no foreigners  in Africa. We should also know where to direct our concerns when the chips are
down.

I understand that South Africans’ concerns must not be ignored, but it is not a crime to be a foreigner.

In contrast, the ANC government should act swiftly to contain this perennial problem.Terrence Mwedzi

People must decide on Khupe fate

THERE have been mixed reactions to the announcement by MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe where she urged her party supporters to vote for Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates in the Saturday by-elections and in 2023. Many are of the opinion that she has already joined the CCC.

Some in the CCC are concerned that Khupe is an inconsistent person, with some also concerned that she may land a senior position at the expense of some loyal members. Some have said she has to apologise before she can be accepted into the CCC.

I have followed Khupe’s Press conferences and I am aware she has acknowledged past mistakes.

I agree she made mistakes, endorsing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 2018 election victory and recalling MDC Alliance parliamentarians and councillors. She reversed the gains of the democratic struggle.

Yes, we all agree that she must apologise or should face consequences for her actions. I am not God to know how genuine Khupe is, so I will take her word for it. If she decides to join CCC, let the people decide the roll she will play. CCC should welcome everyone who wishes to be part of it, so everyone should be welcome. However, she should start as an ordinary card-carrying member. No top table for Khupe.Kennedy Kaitano

UZ on verge of collapse

IT appears the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) is working against government efforts to resuscitate the economy.

Tertiary institutions are central to economic development as they are at the heart of manpower development.

But this has not been the case especially when Paul Mapfumo took over as vice-chancellor. He has been making unilateral decisions, frustrating  students, academic and non-academic staff.

Most qualified lecturers have left the institution to join Midlands State University after being frustrated by Mapfumo and his cabal.

My plea is directed at President Emmerson Mnangagwa as chancellor of all State universities and a listening leader. Do not allow Mapfumo to asphyxiate our critical education sector that is already on a rebound.

On the National Youth Day last month, the President urged youths to go to school and he acknowledged that our institutions of learning should be flexible in terms of fees payment. It is under his policy that students have enrolled at tertiary institutions so that they help kick-start Zimbabwe’s industrialisation trajectory. However, this industrialisation agenda is being hampered by people like Mapfumo.

Mapfumo is forgetting that he is a beneficiary of this country’s flexible education system, but he now wants to deny other Zimbabweans the same by making unilateral decisions that hurt the nation.

Ever since his appointment, as a student, I have seen a deterioration in standards under his leadership. His predecessor, Levi Nyagura, was far much better. I did my undergraduate studies at UZ and am now about to finish my masters. I express my disappointment with the manner Mapfumo is running down the once prestigious institution because Iam concerned about the damage he is inflicting in the tertiary education sector.

Mnangagwa is on record saying education should be accessible, affordable and flexible, but the goings-on at UZ are speaking to the contrary.

UZ doubled fees this semester and is demanding full payment upfront. The same parent, who is supposed to pay fees, is also required to pay accommodation fees. This makes education unaffordable.

Imagine masters students are also required to pay fees in full before being assigned supervisors. This is despite that the fees increment was announced two weeks ago and the registration deadline  is April 1.

This move by the Mapfumo  administration is a slap in the face of the new dispensation.

Mnangagwa should rein in such behaviour. Under Nyagura, students were made to pay part of the fees and the balance would have to be paid before accessing results.  We have tried to engage his administration but our efforts are falling on deaf ears.

What is Mapfumo’s justification for demanding payment of fees in full? Is it possible under this economic environment?

If Mnangagwa does not intervene urgently, very soon there will no UZ to talk about. The institution and standards are dying owing to poor administration. Pasi NeMhandu