Opposition MDC Alliance has demanded urgent attention to the crisis currently obtaining at the Beitbridge border post saying if left unattended it will escalate into a bigger problem for the region.
Chaos erupted as Zimbabweans tried to re-enter South Africa after the festive season holidays resulting in mass arrests of undocumented immigrants.
Fadzayi Mahere, the MDC Alliance national spokesperson said the crisis at the border is a result of bad governance arising from the legitimacy crisis.
“We call for an urgent resolution to the crisis at the border post. However, as we have often stated, to focus only on the situation at Beitbridge would be to merely deal with symptoms of a bigger problem. That bigger problem is the crisis of governance underwritten by a political process that is contaminated by illegitimacy. It is very important to attend to the bigger problem otherwise the situation at Beitbridge will be repeated and it will be worse the next time around,” Mahere said.
She said while migration is normal the world over, for Zimbabweans it is a result of a deteriorating economy.
“While people move from country to country throughout the world, the Zimbabwe-South Africa migration is driven largely by chronic unemployment and extreme poverty in Zimbabwe which are directly connected to the Illegitimacy of Mr Mnangagwa’s regime.
“Zimbabweans would not have to flood the border as they did returning home for the festive season or returning to South Africa afterwards if the economy was offering them more opportunities. ZANU PF’s failure in governance is why the huge transnational flows of people between South Africa are made up almost exclusively of Zimbabweans,”
Mahere added “This one-way traffic is a reminder that the problem is on our side of the border and unless this is resolved, it will escalate in the coming years. The crisis in Zimbabwe is not just a foreign policy issue for South Africa. It is a domestic challenge. The situation at Beitbridge border compounded by the fact that we are in the middle of a further wave of the COVID19 pandemic,”
She said the crowds gathered at the border seeking passage to South Africa make a mockery of the rules against public gathering, social distancing and cleanliness and there are legitimate fears that the gatherings are super-spreaders of the virus which is a hazard to communities both in Zimbabwe and South Africa.