Authorities in Harare are now in panic mode as details of South Africa’s recent bilateral negotiations with Zimbabwe surface. Pretoria indicated plans to suspend the temporary work permits of Zimbabweans who departed their country due to socioeconomic concerns.
Nearly 3 million Zimbabweans have departed the nation in search of better economic opportunities and political sanctuary, according to estimates.
According to organizations like the International Organization for Migration, the majority of them lack proper documentation.
Zimbabwe is grappling with a slew of issues, including high inflation, high unemployment, and political intolerance.
According to new information obtained by The NewsHawks, South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor met with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and her Zimbabwean counterpart Frederick Shava at State House in Zimbabwe last month, where Zimbabwe pleaded with South Africa to postpone the deportation of locals with invalid documentation.
“With Zanu PF in election mode, the minister [Shava] felt that suspending the temporary permits would have an impact on the governing party’s election campaign in 2023,” a source acquainted with the situation said.
Mnangagwa, who won a razor-thin victory over Nelson Chamisa in the tumultuous 2018 election, is running for re-election in two years.
The ruling party has already launched a “5 million votes” campaign in the hopes of ensuring Mnangagwa a landslide victory.
According to sources, if South Africa sends hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans home before the next election, the Zanu PF administration, which has been using Machiavellian politics to damage Chamisa’s party, will have to rethink its campaign strategy.