Monday, November 27, 2006


You know, there is something so abominable about fat politicians in a five star hotel at a prime tourist resort in a country whose economy they have plunder, meeting to discuss how to squeeze more out of its poor people.

I am talking about this past weekend's meeting between South African and Zimbabwean security ministers in Victoria Falls where they agreed to charge the thousands of Zimbabweans crossing the Limpopo legally to seek employment and/or visit relatives and friends.

Zimbabwean travellers now have to pay a security deposit of between $108 000 and $148 000 depending on the destination, have traveller’s cheques amounting to 1 000 rand and produce a letter of invitation, among other requirements.

Now, politicians have always been known to be dumb, but I did not know they would be this dumb.

Hey, those people you are charging more have already been paying you. I would have thought the meeting would seek solutions to the decades-old problem of border jumping - you know, those guys who swim across the river or bribe the border guards.

They are the ones who are flooding South Africa by the millions and they do not do it because they are daredevil who just want to see if they can cross the limpopo without being killed by crocodiles and hippos or being shot by border guards.

These are people who are fleeing human rights violations and are seeking employment in South Africa. These are people who need a solution so they don't risk their lives jumping the border. These are the people for whom meetings are supposed to be called and decisions made.



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