Opposition Africa Democratic Party president, Marceline Chikasha, says the Zimbabwean government must share the blame for the xenophobic attacks in South Africa due to its failure to provide local jobs and create a conducive environment to keep its nationals in the country.
Chikasha told journalists in Harare that Zimbabweans were at the mercy of an uncaring government, a situation that is forcing locals to leave the country to look for jobs in various nations, including South Africa.
She said even those that remain in the country are suffering and living in abject poverty as the economy is declining fast.
She said Zimbabweans would not be among foreign nationals currently being persecuted in South Africa if their leaders were responsible and cared about people’s welfare.
Zimbabweans are among thousands of foreigners affected by xenophobic attacks, which broke out in Durban two weeks ago. About 407 displaced local people, being ferried in state-provided buses, are expected in the country today.
The Civil Protection Unit, which has been designated by government to deal with those returning home could not be reached for comment, as director Madzudzo Pawadyira, was not answering his mobile phone. The Unit has set up some support centers for the displaced Zimbabweans.
Meanwhile Harare Mayor, Ben Manyenyeni, says the local authority is committed in upgrading all the 70 slums in the city.
He made the remarks as he met a delegation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is in the country for the commissioning a $5 million housing project funded by the American charity organization.
The $5 million housing project for the poor in Dzivaresekwa was moved from Mbare high density suburb after some Zanu PF activists rejected it.