President Mugabe says 'Xenophobia must stop.'

President Robert Mugabe has expressed a sense of shock to the current xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa, saying Africans must treat each other with dignity.

Speaking during Zimbabwe's 35th independence celebrations at the National Sports Stadium in Harare today, Cde Mugabe, who is also the SADC and African Union (AU) Chairperson, said the act of treating other Africans in that way can never be condoned by anyone.
President Mugabe  says 'Xenophobia must stop.'
"I have learnt with a sense of shock and disgust, what is happening in Durban and other parts of South Africa, where about five or six Africans were burnt to death. We understand it is in response to the influx of foreigners from neighbouring countries and whether they [xenophobia perpetrators] are followers of King Zwelithini or any other misguided elements, that must stop. On behalf of Zimbabwe, SADC and AU, that must never happen again in South Africa and any other nation," said Cde Mugabe.

He said if there is an influx of foreigners in a certain country, that must be discussed and a solution be found.

President Mugabe said his government has taken measures to repatriate Zimbabwean nationals.

"Our ministers are working with South African authorities and transport is there already to bring our people back home," he said.

Meanwhile, President Mugabe has shot down an announcement by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa this week that government had suspended civil servants' bonuses until at least 2017.

He said civil servants must be applauded for supporting and implementing government policies, adding that it is not government policy to suspend their bonuses.

"It is not government policy, we were not consulted on that matter. The issue was never discussed in Cabinet, so your bonuses will come to you," the President said.

On development, President Mugabe said after the SADC and AU elected him to lead the groupings, he now has a chance to push for industrialisation of Africa through value addition and beneficiation.

"That is a definite programme agreed by both AU and SADC," he said, adding that it is his wish for Zimbabwe to emerge as a long prosperous nation, while Africa becomes a prosperous continent.

He said all this is possible if the continent pushes for empowerment of its locals, and investing in value-addition of its mineral resources.

On Zimbabwe’s mining industry, he said the Russian investment in the Great Dyke is progressing well, adding that government has also secured reputable diamond cutting and polishing companies, in a development expected to push revenue earnings and create employment.

The President also applauded security forces for 'remaining resolute in defending our hard won independence and sovereignty,' adding that they continue to make Zimbabwe proud on the international stage, where they have participated in various peace-keeping missions.

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