South African-based officials of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change officials said Monday that the Department of Home Affairs is withdrawing asylum status for thousands of Zimbabweans in light of the power-sharing arrangement reached in Harare by the former opposition MDC and the long-ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe.
The MDC officials said Zimbabweans seeking residency permit extensions have been turned away and in some cases deported, and that South African immigration authorities are telling Zimbabwean refugees that with MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai designated as prime minister, they no longer face danger if they return to their country.
VOA was unable
to immediately obtain comment from the Home Affairs Department.
Provincial Publicity and Information Secretary Sibanengi Dube of the MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the party has engaged lawyers to help Zimbabweans who face tougher immigration policies.