Stop ill-treating Nigerians, Khupe told

By Lloyd Mbiba, Staff Writer

Nigeria has officially protested to Zimbabwe’s deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe against the ill-treatment of Nigerians in the southern African country.

Nigerian Senate president David Mark appealed for improved hospitality to Nigerians and other foreigners living in Zimbabwe.

The Nigerian community in Zimbabwe has accused local authorities of employing heavy-handed tactics when dealing with them and generally mistrusting them.

Chairperson of the Nigerian Community in Zimbabwe Udemba Simon has raised the issue with authorities in Zimbabwe several times complaining that the growing legion of Nigerians in Zimbabwe are not happy about the way they are being treated by the police and immigration officials.

Mark appealed for a stop to the dehumanising treatment when he hosted deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe in Abuja on Tuesday where Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, Viola Onwuliri, emerged the new president of Global Power Women Network.

Nigerians in Zimbabwe in March this year staged a demonstration outside the Nigerian embassy along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare demanding action from their ambassador Adekunle Adeyanju.

They implored him to intervene and stop their mistreatment at the hands of local police and immigration officials.

Nigeria pledged to assist the southern African country in its quest to attain democracy.

Nigerian vice-president Namadi Sambo told Khupe that the West African country stands ready to help Zimbabwe stage free and fair elections.

According to Nigerian press reports, Sambo said the Nigerian federal government was ready to support Zimbabwe to achieve electoral success through training of electoral officers by Nigeria’s independent electoral body.

Khupe is on an official visit to the West African country in a bid to work with Nigerian parliamentarians on ensuring that African leaders implement policies aimed at addressing the continent’s developmental challenges.

She is expected back in the country on Friday.

Khupe, who had paid a courtesy call on Sambo, briefed him on the Global Power Network for Women whose members are drawn mostly from the executive, legislature and judicial arms of government while others come from civil society organisations.

The organisation’s first summit in 2013 is set to be staged in Nigeria.

Sambo told Khupe that Nigeria will continue to support sister African countries in entrenching democratic values for the general progress of the continent.

Also, Sambo informed the Zimbabwe deputy prime minister of the steps being taken to transform Nigeria in reducing maternal mortality, power supply, transportation, education, agriculture and women’s access to finance.

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