Hundreds throng SA Embassy

HARARE - Hundreds of Zimbabwean immigrants thronged the South African Embassy in Harare over the last two days in a last-ditch bid to secure required travel documents to return to the neighbouring country.

At the same time, thousands more were being turned away by South Africa’s immigration officers at the Beitbridge Border Post since January 1, after they failed to produce the required documents under the new visa and permit dispensation dubbed the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP).

The queue, which only began subsiding in the afternoon, winded from Second Street Extension into Cork Road and turned again into the entrance of the embassy.

When the Daily News crew got to the embassy yesterday morning, permit applicants, mostly students, were anxious to get in while one embassy official went along the queue answering questions, especially on whether it was worth it for the applicants to wait in the long queue.

“There is just one queue for everything and anything to do with embassy; first time applicants, students and inquiries,” complained one man.

South Africa had given Zimbabweans living in the neighbouring country up to December 31, to apply for special permits. But some Zimbabweans reportedly faced difficulties with renewing their permits as they failed to get through the call centre and online services.

The special permit legalising the Zimbabweans’ stay in South Africa was introduced in 2009.

Zimbabwe Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi has been in constant engagement with his South African counterpart Malusi Gigaba over the issue.

Mohadi last week told the Daily News: “I cannot comment on the deportations now because I have not yet received any official communication from the South African parent ministry.”

There was no further update yesterday.

Almost a quarter of a million Zimbabweans applied when the process was first introduced and by December 31, the South Africa Home Affairs had received 207 802 applications.

Between two and three million Zimbabweans live and work in South Africa, according to estimates.

    Comments (7)

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    Rodney - 7 January 2015

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    Rodney - 7 January 2015

    This is a sad indictment of governance in my country of Zimbabwe. I am aware that some are gloating on the predicament of the people in the long lines outside the embassy. Will the embassy relent or is it out to teach the sorry Zimbabweans a lesson?

    Mavara Azarevhu - 7 January 2015

    Mohadi wants OFFICIAL communication that illegal immigrants that are being deported. Put you energy to sort economy please comrade!

    Mohadi - 8 January 2015

    The Government of South Africa has been very accommodative to Zimbabwean problems and has done all it can possibly do to comply with SADC and UN charters on movement of human traffic. It is now up to the government and nation of Zimbabwe to sort out the mess in Zimbabwe. Zim politics is 15th century type, the economy is in shambles, the leadership is inept, despotic, clueless as to how to run affairs etc. What do you want our brothers in South Africa to do?? Allow you 200% freedom to come into their country? Dream on. RSA has its own problems to deal with.

    Garikayi - 8 January 2015

    we are indigenising ,empowering and creating employment. why bother RSA infact it should send back all zimbos .the country is at peace and harare has become one large flea market . artsanal mining is being resoursed .farms are available.Grace is going to dish out funds to women. Mahofa is in India to acquire diamond cutting expertise .the economy was disturbed by Mujuru and Kaukonde.Msipa junior is fighting another war vet over crowhill farm ,sugar unions want to remove RGM. zanupf dupes its own party members through Lasch investments , housing schemes. tractor schemes etc. can anyone make head or tail from this . sorry zimbos

    ndozvo - 8 January 2015

    SA government is one of the best in the continent when it comes to deal with immigrant issue except the introduction of vfs global an agent to accept visa permits and handle all such queries. However to Zimbabwe and other Southern african governments except Botswana and Namibia, its a lesson that poor governance exposes citizen to serious human migration that is undoing all the development or any kind of gain from independence from colonisers. In Zimbabwe, Mugabe has destroyed all sence of independence and self pride as every day there are buses and cars and trucks crossing into South africa to import big and small items which could be easily manufactured in the country since the same labour force that is working in South Africa are Zimbabweans manufacturing them down SA. difference being there is private and governement willingness to invest in these industries. ZANU has taken away that confidence in the fear of loosing political power. They have destroyed that by intrenching all sence of democracy by protecting ill gotten wealth. Corruption and rigging of election and complete destruction of infrustracture, heavy taxes and poor economic policies through keeping incompetent politicians like Gono at RBZ which killed sound monetary policies through quasi fiscal policies when RBZ should focus on monetary issues. Fiscal policies are for Minister of Finance. That messed the economy. ZANU PF went on to cheating after realisng they are loosing political power beating and intimidating citizens and investors. unemployment and inflation reaching highs of 85% and quantilion % respectively. Now there is no life in Zimbabwe, that must signal resignation of Mugabe but he will rather see all dying while himself and Grace and kids eat.

    ananian - 8 January 2015

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