Deputy Government Spokesperson Energy Mutodi says Ndebele people who were led by King Mzilikazi were accommodated by Zimbabwe when they settled in the western part of the country fleeing Zulu King Shaka the Zulu.
Mutodi urged South Africans to stop xenophobic attacks in that country because Zimbabwe was housing about three million people of South African descent.
“No need for xenophobia. Zimbabwe and South Africa are one country. We trade at least $2bn with South Africa annually and if we withheld the business SA would feel the pain.” Mutodi said.
Nhlambabaloyi Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni said the utterances by Mutodi were reckless.
Said Ndiweni, “Absolute Hogwash! I did not respond to his attack on my person but this is very irresponsible, how can this man be a government mouthpiece?”
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Below are some of the reactions from Zimbabweans on Twitter:
Alex Magaisa: He represents his master, the man behind him in that portrait. If he didn’t have his blessings he would no longer be in his role as Minister. He never had a moral compass & he has shown it time & again. No reprimand. Ultimately, his appointing authority is responsible for his man.
Hopewell Chin’ono: Please @energymutodi stop this historical revisionism. Ndebeles are not South African, they are Zimbabwean. My great-grandfather came from modern-day Mozambique, I am not Mozambican, I am Zimbabwean! We should push back against divisive drivel! Address x_enophobia. Don’t inflame it!
David Coltart: This is a remarkable statement which ZANU-PF needs to clarify. What does @nickmangwana have to say about this? Does ZANUPF accept a Constitutional birthright or not?
Pedzisai Ruhanya: Now is saying that Zimbabweans in Matebeleland are South Africans who are staying in Zimbabwe at the benevolence of ZANU PF regime. How wrong and misguided can one be? Are you suggesting Zimbos can be x_enophobic against Zimbos in Matebeleland? How ignorant?
Allowing Mutodi to open his mouth is asking for disaster. This man is possessed by idiocy!
Mduduzi Mathuthu: They have moved on from whites David. Ndebeles are being reminded today that they are refugees “accommodated” from South Africa. Scary!
Fadzayi Mahere: Disgusting. But what’s even more troubling is that nobody in Govt is censuring him. They agree with his views but use him as a court jester to communicate their position. Sad.