Zimbabweans in SA call on government to intervene in crisis
Zimbabweans living in Durban who fled for greener pastures have called for their homeland's democracy to be saved.
Ongoing allegations of mobilised security forces, the abduction, torture and imprisonment of activists, journalists or any government opposition has spread despair and fear among local and international communities. This became evident through the trending #ZanupfMustGo and #ZimbabweanLivesMatter social media movements.
The Durban-based Zimbabwe Solidarity Movement's Tsungai Jani said corruption and hunger for power destroyed the country.
“You never expect this to happen in a so-called democratic country. When Robert Mugabe was ousted out of office, we foolishly rejoiced only to realise that he was never the only bad guy, but it was a systemic issue. At the end of the day, Zanu-PF is still the ruling party, and those who supported Mugabe, are still in power,” he said.
Jani said the situation felt hopeless, and the challenges his countrymen faced were being ignored.
Tafiyenrika Muzarugwi of the Zimbabwean Citizens Coalition in South Africa said the time of soft diplomacy was over.
“As the chair of the African Union, South Africa must take a firm stance and condemn what is happening in Zimbabwe. The AU represents the continent, and we need continental support,” he said.
Muzarugwi said the Zimbabwean government could not be trusted, and if international talks were to commence, all members of civil society and opposition parties should be involved.
“The arrest of investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono was because he had uncovered rampant corruption during this Covid-19 period.
"Ultimately, the Zimbabwean health minister stepped down. But in Zimbabwe, you have freedom as long as you are saying what government wants you to say. He was then arrested for allegedly inciting violence.”
Chin’ono was granted bail and released from prison last Wednesday.