The Zim consulate stops soup distribution

zim_queue_foodJOHANNESBURG: The Zimbabwe consulate in Johannesburg has stopped the South Africa Communist Party (SACP) from giving soup to Zimbabweans in some queues. An official SACP told The Zimbabwean that the Consulate General Chris Mapanga told them to stop giving soup to Zimbabweans as it was embarrassing the Zimbabwean community.

Mothusi Mongele from SACP says, Mapanga behaves exactly the same way as the Zimbabwean regime. They want to show strength. The consulate said the Zimbabweans are working and can feed themselves. He said if there is anyone who is starving they will send him with the next bus to Zimbabwe. He is arrogant.

Palesa Motsome from SACP told The Zimbabwean that they were touched by seeing Zimbabweans circling their offices the whole day. Palesa says, We used to find them on the queue and leave them on the queue some with children on their backs. We decide to assist our brothers and sisters. We are a party that cares for the marginalised. Zimbabweans have assisted us before.

Palesa says they wish the City of Johannesburg could do something to assist with mobile toilets and water since people spend some days in the queues. Ngqabutho Dube the Administration Secretary form the Movement for the Democratic Change Mutambara MDC-M) says the consulate should sympathise with Zimbabweans in some queues. Ngqabutho says, the consular general does not care about the plight of the suffering Zimbabweans. He is not the one who is buying and giving the soup. People are given the soup because of their (consulate) inefficiency to assist people so that they do not sleep in queues. Why should he stop people who care about the welfare of the Zimbabweans?

Dube says they are some Zimbabweans who do not afford to buy their meals. Ngqabutho Dube has been assisting the SACP to prepare and distribute soup at the consulate offices. Some members of the MDC-M are also volunteers assisting in the at the Zimbabwe consulate.The Zimbabwe consulate general in South Africa Chris Mapanga says the giving of soup was portraying Zimbabweans in South Africa in bad light. He says, Why are you worried about the soup? Do you want Zimbabweans to be presented as destitutes? Most of people are applying for passports so that they can apply for business and study permits. They are employed and can afford to buy their own food.

Mapanga says the national pride is at stake if Zimbabweans are seen being given some free soup. He says they wanted also to avoid a situation where other people would come only for the soup and disturb those waiting to get passports. Some Zimbabweans queue for two days to get some passports which will enable them to get some permits. Zimbabweans are struggling to beat the December 31 2010 deadline to legalise their stay in South Africa. SACP have been feeding more than one a thousand people a day in some queues for about a week.

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