At least 300 Zimbabweans have been affected by the recent spat of xenophobic attacks in South Africa and over 50 thousand have been displaced due to the post election violence allegedly sponsored by ZANU PF.
Zimbabweans who have fled to South Africa since 29 March polls that saw Robert Mugabe losing to MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai and those who have been staying in South Africa facing attacks from locals are receiving alternative accommodation from the party.
The Movement for Democratic Change’s Tendai Biti speaking in Johannesburg to The Zimbabwean said it was worrying the party that its citizens were facing such traumatic experiences and this had prompted it to make alternative arrangements.
“Our party believes in the promotion of human life, we also believe that all Zimbabweans and indeed humanity deserves protection and our belief has forced the party to offer temporary accommodation in Johannesburg, Musina and Pretoria,” said Biti.
Biti also added that the assistance the party was giving was not given on party line as some of the beneficiaries from recent attacks in South Africa were well known ZANU PF supporters and said this was part of his organization’s healing process.
“We are assisting MDC members; we are also assisting ZANU PF supporters. This is in line with our mandate of government of national healing as we believe that differences in political ideologies should not supersede our respect for human life,” added Biti.
Currently the party is assisting over 500 victims of xenophobic attacks in South Africa and also post elections victims of state sponsored violence fleeing Mugabe’s wrath.
Tatenda Shonhiwa who used to stay in Alexandra currently housed at one shelter in Johannesburg commented the MDC for making these interventions.
“What the MDC has done is a sign of maturity; they have managed to prove to all their opponents why they won the 29 March polls. I am not a supporter of the party but on the coming run off I will definitely vote for Tsvangirai, I will not forget the assistance they have given me in time of need as this,” Shonhiwa said with tears streaming down his cheek.
Nkosi Khumalo who used to stay at Diepsloot also hailed the MDC for feeling the vacuum left by the Mugabe regime and the Zimbabwean embassy saying after their recent acts no one would deny they deserve to form a government.
“When a friend told me that Zimbabweans were receiving assistance somewhere in Pretoria, I thought it was the Home Affairs or the Zimbabwean embassy. I was then shocked to realise that it was actually the MDC giving the support after seeing its secretary general,” said Khumalo.
Meanwhile the MDC has urged the diaspora to go home when the situation normalize to participate in the run off as they would make sure they are safe inÂ their home countries as to avoid being forced to flee into other countries only to face deaths and humiliation.
It is the search for justice, equality and truth that forced me into this profession
The Zimbabwean Correspondent
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