Malawi President Peter Mutharika, who is currently in United States, has said he is pursuing the anti-African migrants violence issue with South African President Jacob Zuma , “to do all, within his power” to end afrophobic attacks as his government is evacuating back home affected Malawian citizens.
Mutharika said in a statement sent to Nyasa Times from New York that he learnt “with much regret and sadness” on the xenophobic attacks in South Africa in his first public reaction to the violence that has swept parts of Durban and Johannesburg.
“These attacks are uncalled for, and should be condemned by all peace loving people, all over the world,” President Mutharika said.
Mutharika’s government is repatriating over 1,000 Malawian citizens who have been affected with the anti-foreigner violence in South Africa.
“For those brothers and sisters caught in this unfortunate violence, I urge you, to urgently get in touch with the Malawi High Commission in Pretoria, and the Consulate in Johannesburg. The process of bringing out Malawians, interested to leave South Africa, and flee the violence, has since commenced,” Mutharika said.
“Let me assure the people of Malawi, that my Government, is doing everything possible, to evacuate all those willing to return home,” added the Malawi leader.
Mutharika said he has set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee, to coordinate the process of repatriation, for all those Malawians currently in South Africa, and are willing to return home, immediately.
The Committee, he said, comprises of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr George Chaponda, who is chairing it, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Atupele Muluzi (Vice Chairman), and Francis Kasaila, MP, Minister of Transport and Public Works, (Member).
Mutharika said in the meantime he is “pursuing this matter with, President Jacob Zuma, to do all, within his power, to end this painful ordeal of Malawians in South Africa, whose only crime, is to go and work in South Africa to earn a living. “
Zuma has since said in a televised speech after he visited the refugee camp in the Chatsworth area of Durban – after cancelling a trip to Indonesia – that: “We are certainly going to stop the violence.”
Addressing migrants who were planning to return to their home countries, Zuma who was reportedly heckled by some in the crowd said: “Those who want to go home, when the violence stops you are welcome to return.”
Malawi President Mutharika has said he will also raise the issue with President Robert Mugabe, as Chairman of SADC, “especially to ensure that this matter is discussed at the impending SADC Extraordinary Summit, scheduled to be held soon, in Harare.”
Mugabe said on Saturday during a speech at a football stadium in Harare to mark 35 years of Zimbabwe’s independence that all Africans in South Africa should be treated with dignity.
As chair of both the Southern African Development Community and African Union, Mugabe said: “I would want now to express our sense of shock, disgust, as we abhor the incidences which happened in Durban.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :