MDC to protest in Durban

Members of the Zimbabwean political party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), were expected to gather outside the Durban home affairs department on Friday for a planned picket.

Regional MDC spokesperson Sheperd Zvavanhu said the party wanted the department to speed up the issuing of asylum papers as refugees were getting sick while waiting in long queues.

He said refugees were being treated inhumanely.

“The home affairs department does not allow them to use water inside the building and there is no running water outside, and people are there for about three to four days, queuing in lines.

“At night, there are over 400 people in a queue.”

He said thirsty refugees were going for days without drinking water or eating food.

“The refugees have no resources. We help each other out at times,” he said.

“Women and children standing there are going hungry and are dehydrated.”

Zvavanhu said the party was distressed to find that some refugees had even collapsed in the queues outside the Moore Road department.

He said the asylum seekers did not have access to toilets and were forced to use an open site which was “humiliating and unhygienic”.

“The department takes far too long to issue asylum papers and that needs to change,” said Zvavanhu.

The picket was expected to start at 10am.

Home affairs department spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa was not Immediately available to comment on the matter.

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