South Africa ZEP: MDC Alliance Defends Stranded Zimbabweans.
29 November 2021
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The MDC Alliance has come out to defend Zimbabweans stranded in South Africa.

The party, has stood out to confront the South African government over the plight of the nearly 200,000 set to loose their immigration status as the neighbouring country ends the Zimbabwe special dispensation permit grants.

Our message to all the affected individuals and families is that we will not leave any Zimbabwean behind, the party said in a statement. FULL TEXT BELOW

On the 25th of November 2021, the South African Government announced that it will no longer be extending Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEP) which expire on the 31st of December 2021.

South Africa’s latest position will affect more than 182 000 Zimbabweans. We respect the decision of the South African government and we appreciate South Africa’s help. The nation has repeatedly supported Zimbabwean citizens who were fleeing poverty, injustice and corruption.

Our people left the country in search of better opportunities and jobs following the socio-economic and political crisis created by the regime in Harare. As a social democratic party whose core value is to champion a better society for the people of Zimbabwe, we are extremely concerned with the plight of our brothers and sisters who have become perpetual victims of the authorities that deliberately renege on their responsibility to serve and protect the people.

At the core of Zimbabwe’s problem is a legitimacy crisis flowing from the disputed election of 2018, illegal and unconstitutional accumulation of wealth through looting, corruption and abuse of state institutions. Zimbabwe has become one of the worst governed countries in the world due to the regime’s misrule and maladministration. ZanuPF’s anti-poor policies have driven the citizens away.

South Africa, SADC and the rest of Africa will have to deal with the harsh reality that as long as they ignore the call to encourage Zimbabwean government to conduct free and fair elections, observe the rule of law, respect human rights and other key constitutional mandates, the immigration problems will continue to affect the neighbouring countries and beyond. Instead of championing a better society anchored on democratic values, the regime in Harare is focusing on authoritarian consolidation.

As the MDC Alliance, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters domiciled in South Africa. We are appealing to SADC to assist the struggle by playing their part to hold the regime to account when they abuse the citizens and practice bad governance contrary to the principles enshrined in the SADC Treaty.

Our recently launched Diaspora Affairs and Mobilisation Department will be fully seized with this issue, engaging with stakeholders to find a lasting solution within the twelve months’ grace period given by the South African government.

Our message to all the affected individuals and families is that we will not leave any Zimbabwean behind as we prepare for the 2023 election victory by President Nelson Chamisa.
Together, we will win Zimbabwe for change.

Issued by: Clifford Hlatywayo