EDITOR — The resurgence of xenophobic attacks in neighbouring South Africa is quite disturbing.
We point out to the fact that part of progress in South Africa was a result of African efforts through the support of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU), especially during the apartheid era.
The current trend of resurfacing “nationalism” centred on hatred and misplaced views of foreign competition are not welcome in a modern world.
Believing that citizens suffer unemployment and poverty because of foreign nationals is just but a simplistic view.
South Africa is following the steps that the United States and some parts of Europe have taken recently, we view that far right nationalist turn as the most unfortunate development of the recent times.
Africa cannot afford to live in isolation and therefore must not at this point be developing such a nationalist approach in an era where
nations are thriving on integration and free trade blocks.
In the spirit of encouraging regional integration and development of free trade zones, including establishment of a regional monetary union, relations across borders must form part of the foundation.
Africa already has many problems which demand collective efforts of governments; we are confronted by the challenge of declining economic growth, climate change as well as political instability in some parts.
Energy issues are also a serious challenge which as we have always mentioned can only be solved in the long-term by pooling resources into the Great Inga project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the project can power the whole of Africa and beyond.
Such kind of an intervention cannot succeed in a tense environment of petty, toxic nationalism which just but brews unnecessary hatred.
We note with concern that such hatred is resulting in unnecessary loss of life where Africans could find better conflict resolution mechanisms among themselves.
Our concern is also based on the fact that millions of Zimbabweans are resident in South Africa, some of them have been victims of the
attacks with the rest still living in danger of being targeted.
The government of Zimbabwe must also take responsibility for creating an unpalatable environment which has resulted in many leaving the country in search of greener pastures thereby end up exposed to situations which many find themselves in today in South Africa.
Xenophobia has flared up many times after inflammatory utterances by high-ranking leaders in host nations, such kind of conduct is unacceptable and must be condemned with the contempt it deserves.
We therefore urge the ANC government, Economic Freedom Fighters, Democratic Alliance, other progressive political parties, social groups and all local leaders in South Africa not to be opportunistic but rise above petty politics and condemn the barbaric acts being perpetrated against fellow Africans.
Finally, we urge the people of Zimbabwe to remain peaceful, avoid retaliating but instead focus on efforts that will bring a lasting political and economic solutions to avoid a situation where many of our people end up exposed to xenophobic attacks, human trafficking among other dangers immigrants.