The Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa distanced itself from a statement issued by ZANU PF’s chairperson for Sandton Branch, South Africa which proposed the introduction of a Dr Motsoaledi Aviation Bill which will see South African air traffic passing over Zimbabwe being levied. Advocate Simba Chitando said the bill was in response to Motsoaledi’s attitude in addressing the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit issue. Pindula News presents Chitando’s statement:
ZANU PF SANDTON BRANCH DISCUSSION: “THE DR MOTSOLEDI AVIATION BILL”
1. Pursuant to the Zanu PF Sandton Branch meeting on 23 December 2021; and the meeting between ZEP leaders and the Zimbabwe Ambassador to South Africa on the same day; Zanu PF Sandton Branch shall, in the terms provided for by the Constitution of Zanu PF, propose an aviation Bill for the consideration by the Zimbabwean people, at home and abroad, to assist ZEP holders in South Africa, Zimbabwean truck drivers, and victims of xenophobic violence in that country.
2. The following material facts motivate the proposal of the “Dr Motsoledi Aviation Bill”:
(a) Dr Motsoledi has, upon several occasions, when dealing with regional challenges involving Zimbabweans, publicly insulted senior members of the Zimbabwean government, and Zanu PF, including the First Secretary of Zanu PF, Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwean Defence Forces, and President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency President Mnangagwa, and his ministers;
(b) The Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa informed members of the ZEP community that Dr Motsoledi did not consult him, as had happened in the past, prior to decisions he made about the ZEP community, and is currently ignoring his communications;
(c) Dr Motsoledi has instead sent correspondence to the populist organisations called “Put South Africa First” promising reprisals against ZEP holders, after members of “Put South Africa First” conducted widespread acts of xenophobic violence, targeting Zimbabwean nationals, which resulted in the death of several Zimbabweans, severe injury, and loss of property;
(d) Dr Motsoledi emboldens xenophobic violence, through his support for xenophobic organisations, like “Put South Africa First”, who incite violence targeting Zimbabweans, which has led to the loss of life, severe injury, and destruction of property;
(e) On 29 November 2021 Dr Motsoledi issued a directive, which sought to terminate the employment of thousands of ZEP holders, and close their bank accounts, if they did not meet an impossible deadline, which he then withdrew on 13 December 2021, before a legal challenge on 14 December 2021, and the damage done. The directive caused significant trauma to the Zimbabwean community, and panic;
(f) Dr Motsoledi has said that Zimbabwean truck drivers, in the transport business in South Africa should not operate, and has used legislative and executive power to stop their operations on the grounds that he is defending South African sovereignty;
(g) There is no financial program for the return of hundreds of thousands of ZEP holders, and millions of ZEP holders’ family members indirectly affected by decision by Dr Motsoledi not to extend the ZEP;
(h) The South African people have a right to exercise sovereignty over their territory.
(i) The Zimbabwean people have a similar right to protect their sovereignty over their territory.
3. The aviation bill, to be presented to Zanu PF Structures, seeks to do the following:
(a) Charge a “pollution levy” on all air traffic traveling over Zimbabwean air space departing or arriving at any airport within the Republic of South Africa;
(b) Prohibiting any air traffic traveling over Zimbabwean air space departing or arriving at any airport within the Republic of South Africa, save for when the “pollution levy” has been paid, by aviation companies, to the Zimbabwean government;
(c) Create a fund, to be administered by the Zimbabwean Minister of Finance, for an estimated amount of over 10 Billion United States Dollars, to be raised by said pollution levy, aimed at providing for the return of ZEP holders, compensation of Zimbabwean truck drivers, victims of xenophobic violence in the Republic of South Africa, and planting of flora and fauna in areas in Zimbabwe negatively affected by pollution caused by South African air traffic over Zimbabwe;
(d) Provide a tax holiday, and various other tax incentives, for foreign aviation companies who arrive and depart from Zimbabwean airports, to alleviate the financial burden on foreign aviation companies from arrivals and departures from South African airports;
(e) Reduce all levies on aviation companies who arrive and depart from Zimbabwean airports.
4. According to Section 20 (4) of the Constitution of Zanu PF, members have a right to: “make representations to any officer or organ of the Party in respect of any matter which affects his or her rights as a member”. This includes the material facts motivating the Dr Motsoledi Aviation Bill mentioned above, and Section 11 of the Constitution of Zanu PF, which provides “conditions for economic independence, prosperity and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation” for the benefit of all Zimbabweans, including ZEP holders, and Zimbabwean truck drivers targeted for economic exclusion from the regional economy.
5. The Dr Motsoledi Bill has no punitive agenda. It merely seeks: “to preserve and defend the sovereignty and independence of Zimbabwe” as provided for by Section 8 of the Constitution of Zanu PF.
6. Zimbabwean air space is part of its territory and must be protected and preserved from unfair exploitation. “The Dr Motsoledi Aviation Bill” seeks to protect Zimbabwean air space, and preserve Zimbabwe’s economic objectives, which include promoting the rights of ZEP holders, Zimbabwean truck drivers, and victims of xenophobic violence.
7. The Dr Motsoledi Bill, or even the public debate of the Bill, is not intended to increase the cost of aviation in South Africa, or negatively affect South African tourism, or the cost of imports/exports by air in that territory, and potentially South Africa’s international credit rating. The recent conduct by Dr Motsoledi leaves no doubt that this is an expense the South African economy can afford to reach Dr Motsoledi’s agenda.
8. The Bill will be presented on or before 31 December 2022, and work on the Bill will commence on 1 January 2022. Once complete, a poll shall be conducted on the intended Bill amongst Zimbabwean citizens before it is put before Zanu PF structures for consideration. The proposed Bill is not official Zanu PF policy, but merely a discussion on one of various ideas to meet Zimbabwe’s regional challenges.
9. Zimbabwe and South Africa enjoy excellent relations, and we look forward to further cooperation.
Pamberi Ne Zanu PF
Adv Simba Chitando
Chairperson Zanu PF Sandton Branch South Africa