Zimbabweans residing in South Africa have labelled the current interim president of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa as a liar. This comes after Mnangagwa’s last year visit to South Africa in December at the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria where he gave a fiscal report whilst addressing hundreds of Zimbabweans and assured Zimbabweans that the country was now in good shape and they could come back.
Regardless of Mnangagwa’s sentiments the unemployment rate is still rife surging between 85 and 90 percent which has relatively contributed in many Zimbabweans crossing the other side of the Limpopo into South Africa to perhaps irk a living.
Munby Zimbabweans came to South Africa in 2008 when the country hit rock bottom. Needless to say most Zimbabweans that came during that period are still indulging in the same menial jobs 10 years later regardless of that fact that they are qualified to indulge in certain better jobs. With unemployment rate in South Africa relatively sitting at 27% it’s difficult for the foreigners to compete with the locals for the rightful jobs as the locals will be given first preference like anywhere else.
When the longtime nonagenarian Robber Mugabe was recalled from the presidential office many Zimbabweans from all aspects of life saw this as a new dawn and optimized coming back home but with the current situation that is still transpiring many have lost hope and vowed not to go back home.
In 2010 the government of South Africa decided to issue Zimbabweans with special permits notably known as Zimbabwe Special Permit that have a duration of four years. This was welcomed by most Zimbabweans as it enabled them to work, reside as well as pursue their academia in South Africa.
However, in 2014 the dispensation of the ZSP was halted by the home affairs department of South Africa and only those who were considering renewals were going to be entertained. As a result of this those without the ZSP had to look for other alternatives that would not infringe them with the law and they opted for the asylum. The asylum also works like the ZSP but its tenure is limited ranging between a month to 6 months and is usually issued to those that come from countries that have political instability.
Obtaining an asylum for most Zimbabweans was an easy thing a couple of years back as only an identification card was needed to acquire one but things have changed now. No one gets an asylum without their passport. With that in regard the passport is taken by the home affairs department in exchange for the asylum.
However, although the system sounds just the passports are never seen again as it is more or less like giving it away. It is alleged that the passports are thrown away into dustbins or exchanged for other malicious activities by the home affairs personnel. This is relatively transpiring at the home affairs department in Marabastad in Pretoria where the asylums are issued.
Many Zimbabweans have expressed their uttermost dismay towards this but there is nothing that they can do since they need to support themselves and their families. So in essence once the passport is taken you remain a refugee for life since you will not be in possession of any passport and it is also alleged that the system works hand in glove with the home affairs department in Zimbabwe meaning applying for another passport will be a mammoth task. Attempts to get a comment from both the home affairs of South Africa and Zimbabwe proved fruitless.
– Daniel Itai