The Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa has distanced itself from Zanu PF Sandton branch chairperson Simba Chitando’s scathing attack on South Africa home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
Chitando issued a statement that Zimbabwe should craft a Bill to assist Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders and local truck drivers that face xenophobic violence in that country and should be called the Dr Motsoaledi Aviation Bill.
In a statement, the embassy said it dissociates from the ‘unhelpful’ statement and that Ambassador David Hamadziripi did not have a meeting with the Zanu PF Sandton branch as claimed by Chitando.
“The Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the Republic of South Africa is aware of a statement that is circulating on social media circles bearing the crest of the Office of Advocate Simba Chitando, dated 30 December 2021 and titled ‘ZANU PF SANDTON DISCUSSION: THE DR MOTSOLEDI AVIATION BILL.’ The Zimbabwean Ambassador has never had a meeting with the ZANU PF Sandton Branch. The Embassy denounces in the strongest terms this attempt to associate it with this unhelpful statement,” read the statement
The Embassy acknowledged that a meeting that took place on December 23, 2021 between Ambassador Hamadziripi and ZEP leaders was an engagement process.
“The Embassy wishes to inform that a meeting that took place on 23 December 2021 was between the Ambassador and some ZEP leaders as part of the Embassy’s engagement with holders of the ZEP,” read the statement. That meeting was solely confined to ZEP-related issues and aspects and nothing else. The meeting was non-partisan.
“The Embassy is deeply concerned by the content and tone of this statement which is diametrically opposite to the maintenance and strengthening of the excellent bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa,” said the Embassy
The Embassy reiterated that the Zimbabwean Government acknowledges and accepts o the sovereign decision after the South Africa government decided not to renew the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) on its expiry at 31 December 2021.
ZEP holders were given a 12 month grace period to regularize their stay in accordance with the relevant to the in South African laws and regulations.