Give Zimbabweans SA citizenship – MDC splinter group

2010-09-17 12:53

Zimbabweans who had used fraudulent identity books to build their lives in South Africa should receive citizenship status, a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) splinter group said on Friday.

Zimbabweans had used these illegal IDs to receive property loans, register for schooling, open businesses and apply for government tenders, said local secretary Ngqabutho Dube.

“Given the above, we are of the view that these Zimbabweans should be granted South African citizenship. It would be easier to deal with the above issues.”

Recently, the home affairs department announced it would provide an amnesty for Zimbabweans who had been using illegal South African ID books and would “normalise” their status as Zimbabwean immigrants.

However, Dube said this would impose administrative difficulties because these Zimbabweans would then need to restart their lives under new documents.

“If these Zimbabweans surrender their South African documents, they stand to lose out if they are issued with permits on their Zimbabwean passports,” he said.

When the home affairs department announced its amnesty, it gave notice that it was ending a special dispensation for Zimbabwean migrants to live and work in South Africa.

These Zimbabweans were required to apply for new permits by December 31 with identity documents retrieved from the Zimbabwean embassy.

Dube expressed doubts about whether the Zimbabwean government could handle the requests for new identity books and birth certificates.

“Most Zimbabweans who are resident in South Africa don’t have these documents,” he said.

“If they do not extend the deadline, many Zimbabweans may not benefit.”

Dube’s press conference followed another MDC news briefing two weeks ago. Dube said his MDC was aligned with Zimbabwean deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara. The other MDC was aligned with prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

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