Harare-Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has condemned the ongoing xenophobic attacks saying the attacks are hostile to humanity.
In a statement Chamisa called for a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.
“The attacks against fellow Africans in South Africa are appalling and heart-breaking. We call upon our African brothers and sisters to show a full sense of brotherhood and sisterhood consistent with the timeless wisdom of Ubuntu. Brother against brother or Sister against sister is inimical to Ubuntu.
“Extremely disturbing are scenes and sights of violence and horrendous attacks in South Africa. It is time to take decisive action to protect all in South Africa and stop any attacks on fellow Africans. Priority must be given to individual security & stopping of all manner and forms of violence” said Chamisa
He said whilst the attacks are described as xenophobia it is clear that they are targeting black Africans.
“While these attacks are routinely described as xenophobic, it is evident that they target black Africans. These are deliberate and systematic attacks based on race and country of origin rather than foreignness alone.
“The resulting conflict is terrible for our communities because they foment hatred and tensions between people. We need to correctly characterise what is happening in South Africa not as xenophobia but as Afrophobia, as the attacks are not necessarily against foreigners but against fellow black Africans” he said
Chamisa said there was need to solve challenges which have seen many people leaving their native countries.
“The irony is on why an African should be Afrophobic. True, we need to solve the challenges in fellow African countries that have led to many leaving their own countries but the irony remains that Africans would feel unwelcome both in Europe as well as in a fellow African State. If Africans are unsafe in Africa, where else should they go?”
“While we acknowledge that South Africa, like many other African countries has problems of inequality, joblessness, social service delivery, poverty and illegal immigration. Violence and impunity is not the answer to these problems”
Chamisa said violence is unacceptable and affects women and children the most.
“If we allow violence and brutality in society to be used as an instrument to resolve challenges, it inevitably spreads to all facets of life including affecting women and children. Violence in all its ugly forms and manifestations, be it towards women and children, citizens, illegal immigrants or any other human being for that matter is simply unacceptable” he said
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