Government has condemned flaring attacks on citizens from other African countries in South Africa which have so far left five people dead, shops looted and property burnt down.
Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Nigeria — whose nationals reside and travel to the neighbouring country — have also issued travel warnings to their citizens.
Since Monday, shops owned by nationals from across Africa were looted while haulage trucks driven by foreigners were also targeted.
Police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades in an attempt to stop the looting. At least 189 people have been arrested.
In a statement yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa urged Zimbabweans living in South Africa and those travelling to that country to take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety.
“We extent our heartfelt sympathies to all Zimbabweans and other African nationals who suffered from the senseless orgy of violence in South Africa.
“The Government and the people of Zimbabwe condemn the barbaric acts, which clearly offends the spirit of African unity and solidarity as espoused by the African Union founding fathers in Addis Ababa in 1963,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the despicable attacks come at an opportune time when African leaders had just launched the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
“The despicable attacks comes at an opportune time when African leaders have just launched a continent-wide Africa Free Trade Area, which has opened exciting economic opportunities that facilitate free movement of capital, labour, goods and services.
“We applaud the South African Government for their swift intervention to end the violence and bring the perpetrators to book. All Zimbabweans living in South Africa and those travelling to the country are urged to take the necessary precaution to ensure their safety,” she said.
Nigeria also summoned the South African ambassador to express “displeasure over the treatment of her citizens” and said it would despatch a special envoy.
Zambia also cancelled an international friendly football match which was slated for Lusaka on Saturday against South Africa’s national men’s team Bafana Bafana.
Nigerian singers have also boycotted shows in South Africa.
Telecoms operator MTN yesterday shut all stores and service centres in Nigeria until further notice after its facilities in three cities were attacked.
The facilities were attacked in retaliation by the Nigerians.
Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, with 58 million users in 2018 and accounts for a third of the South African group’s core profit.