BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
INFORMATION, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana on Tuesday said Zimbabweans facing hardships in neighbouring South Africa were free to come back home where they will be supported by the government.
Addressing a media briefing on International Multilateralism for Diplomacy and Peace in Bulawayo, Mangwana, however, said although government would never abandon its citizens, jobs were scarce.
“So again in terms of their needs, it depends on their needs. We can’t say they will come and get job priorities because already people here are looking for jobs. However, if they face any hardships or they have any needs, the government will support them as much as it can through the social service part,” Mangwana said.
Mangwana’s statement comes at a time Zimbabwean immigrants are facing increasing attacks from vigilante groups in South African townships for allegedly stealing jobs from locals there.
Reports indicate that Zimbabweans, fearing further xenophobic violence and facing an uncertain future after Pretoria announced plans to discontinue the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit, have started taking their valuables back home.
The xenophobia attacks recently claimed the life of a Zimbabwean national, Elvis Nyathi, who was beaten and burned alive by a mob outside his home in Diepsloot. Nyathi was buried recently in Bulawayo with the assistance of the Government of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean immigrants accuse South African Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi of stoking xenophobic attacks after he was quoted saying he would only retire when undocumented foreigners were locked away.
Motsoaledi has also been quoted saying foreign nationals were engaging in criminal activities in that country.
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