SA Scribes Press Mnangagwa Over ZEPs
8 October 2023
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By-President Emmerson Mnangagwa sneakily ducked questions Thursday when asked to give his thoughts on current efforts by South Africa to tame effusive Zimbabwean migration through the much-talked about Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP).
Mnangagwa joined South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa at Musina border post to launch the Border Management Authority (BMA), an integrated border enforcement agency between the neighbours meant to curb illegal goods smuggling, illicit drugs and cover up porous border concerns.
Mnangagwa, known for his evasive responses even when he featured in parliament as leader of government business years gone by, chose to fly off at a tangent through unsolicited reminisce on his recent US jaunt with Ramaphosa during the UN General Assembly.
“We met in New York and had a family chat, when my brother (Ramaphosa) told me that he was coming to officially launch the BMA on this day, I told him it was an opportunity for us to meet so we decided that we inspect both sides together.
“If we continuously meet as presidents, why shouldn’t our people from either borders have the same relationship?
“We want the two people from both ends to talk as good as we, as presidents talk to each other,” Mnangagwa said.
The Zanu PF led administration is blamed for economic ruin that has driven millions out of the country in search of job opportunities and better living.
South Africa, according to a recent Zimbabwe census report, hosts the largest Zimbabwean diaspora base with a majority being undocumented migrants.
The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency in September 2022 indicated South Africa is home to 700,000 Zimbabweans. There are about 178,000 ZEP holders, according to South African authorities.
ZEP holders can legally work in South Africa until 31 December even if they are not successful in their applications for other visas.