THE ruling Zanu PF Sandton branch in South Africa has proposed that Zimbabwe crafts a Bill to assist Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders and local truck drivers that face xenophobic violence in that country.
In a statement dated December 30 by the Zanu PF Sandton branch chairperson, Simba Chitando, the party proposed that the Bill should be called the Dr Motsoaledi Aviation Bill, after the South African Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
Chitando said the Bill would charge a pollution levy on all air traffic travelling over Zimbabwean air space, departing or arriving at any airport within South Africa.
“Zimbabwean air space is part of its territory and must be protected and preserved from unfair exploitation. The Dr Motsoaledi Aviation Bill seeks to protect Zimbabwean air space, and preserve Zimbabwe’s economic objectives, which include promoting the rights of ZEP holders, Zimbabwean truck drivers, and victims of xenophobic violence,” he said.
“The Dr Motsoaledi Bill has no punitive agenda. It merely seeks ‘to preserve and defend the sovereignty and independence of Zimbabwe’ as provided by section 8 of the Constitution of Zanu PF.”
Chitando said the pollution levy should be put in a fund to be created and administered by the Finance ministry, for an estimated amount of over US$10 billion to be raised and used to assist returnees, and compensate victimised truck drivers and victims of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
They proposed that the Bill be presented before December 31, 2022.
He said the proposed Bill was not official Zanu PF policy, but merely a discussion on various ideas to deal with Zimbabwean challenges.
Around 180 000 Zimbabwean ZEP holders could be deported back into the country if their permits are not extended.
Chitando claimed that Zimbabwean ambassador to South Africa, David Hamadziripi was never consulted by Motsoaledi over the issue of ZEP permits.
“Pursuant to the Zanu PF Sandton branch meeting on December 23, 2021, and the meeting ZEP leaders and the Zimbabwe ambassador to South Africa on the same day: Zanu PF Sandton branch shall, in the terms provided for by the constitution of Zanu PF, propose an aviation Bill for consideration by the Zimbabwean people, at home and abroad to assist ZEP holders in South Africa, Zimbabwean truck drivers, and victims of xenophobic violence in that country,” read the statement.
“Dr Motsoaledi has, upon several occasions when dealing with regional challenges involving Zimbabweans, publicly insulted senior members of the Zimbabwean government and Zanu PF, including the first secretary of Zanu PF, Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, and President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and his ministers.
“Dr Motsoaledi has, instead, sent correspondence to the populist organisations called Put South Africa First, promising reprisals against ZEP holders after members of Put South Africa First conducted widespread acts of xenophobic violence, targeting Zimbabwean nationals, which resulted in the death of several Zimbabweans, severe injury, and loss of property.”