By Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION Ideas Party of Democracy (IPD) leader Herbert Chamuka says the xenophobic attacks against Zimbabweans based in South Africa are a direct confrontation on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government and have the potential to deteriorate into a full-scale bilateral conflict.
He claimed the South African government is using the attacks to test how strong Zimbabwe is diplomatically and militarily.
His sentiments come at a time there has been an escalation in violence targeting Zimbabwean domiciled in the neighbouring country which resulted in the death of a Elvis Nyathi in the slum settlement of Diepsloot last week.
Nyathi, a father of four, was stoned and torched by an angry mob after he failed to produce a passport showing he was not a foreigner.
“What South Africa is doing is to test how strong Zimbabwe is before they launch a mass deportation of Zimbabweans, which will lead to a full-scale diplomatic tiff between the two countries,” Chamuka said.
He said this may further deteriorate into an armed conflict and urged Mnangagwa to act before it is too late.
“What I foresee is a situation whereby Zimbabweans of South African descend like the Xosas and Sothos will be targeted, and this will not end well,” he said.
Chamuka said he will staring next month launch countrywide demonstrations against the xenophobic violence.
“Starting next month, I am going to mobilise people from one province to the other to demonstrate against this violence and pressure the two governments to talk. Our party normally does not do demonstrations, but this situation is forcing us to change our tactics,” he said.
“We are worried why Mnangagwa is too quiet about this. I am appealing to the Zimbabwean government to step in and prevent more citizens from dying. We must unite.”
“I will also seek a meeting with Mnangagwa and VP Chiwenga over this. We cannot let the situation go on like this.”