ZimDaily understands that the young deportees were met at Johannesburg International Airport by a visibly infuriated Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Rural Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Chihuri’s son Sylvester and Mnangangwa’s son Emmerson were among those deported, the sources said.
Government sources in Harare said the move sent shock waves through government and ruling party circles where there is fear that other Western countries such as the United States, Britain and Canada may take their cue from Australia and deport the dependents of top government and ruling ZANU-PF officials.
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said last month that the suspension of student visas, an extension of existing sanctions against Zimbabwe, was provoked by President Mugabe’s disregard of democratic principles and human rights.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard called Mr. Mugabe an “undemocratic bully” while briefing the media on talks with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
ZimDaily Editor and Campaign Coordinator Munamato Maiswa confirmed today they had received information on the deportation of a number of Zanu-PF officials children from Australia including Gono’s twin daughters and a Son.
The campaign ZimDaily ran for over three months saw Zimbabweans across the globe contributing names of Zanu-PF officials children studying in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
In an Exclusive interview broadcast on Australia’s Broadcasting Corporation, ABC in April, Munamato told Wendy Carlisle on the programme Background Briefing that Zanu-PF must practice what it preaches. “If you do no want to have anything to do with the West, why not cut ties with everything western? Send your kids to Chinese Universties.
“There is a law which prohibits anyone in Zimbabwe from externalizing foreign currency for any reason…How are these kids funded ”?, he said. We cannot have a law for a few Zanu-PF zealots and another for everyone. They must lead by example. In any case what is wrong with Zimbabwean Universities? we have opened new state-of-the art Universities in Gweru, Masvingo, and Lupane. Each of the ten or so provinces in Zimbabwe has at least one University? Munamato added.
We did what we could as a portal to contribute to the Zimbabwe Struggle and the struggle continues. One must realize the infinite power of the media and should never undermine or weary the patience of the angry millions.
Munamato also told ZimDaily that they are still lobbying USA and UK governments to follow suit. “We never campaigned for the kids to be harmed. If you read and followed the Fair Deal campaign, it was all about exposing the hypocrisy in those who claim to represent the masses. We are receiving encouraging signals from the USA and talking behind the scenes with the UK officials. We want those causing the suffering of millions to have their kids enjoy the Paradise they have created for everyone.
According to ZimDaily’s Editor, the Fair Deal campaign will be relaunched next week. “Its not over yet until all the seeds of all Zanu-PF crooks are basking in fuel queues in Zimbabwe”, Munamato said.
No pressure is insignificant…pressure is pressure and all of us want a peaceful solution to our crisis. Most of our critics came out fighting and defended the rights of children with all the legal jargon, but as you can see we have prevailed and the fight continues.
Political tension between Zimbabwe and Australia spiked on Monday after Canberra followed through on a recent announcement that it was stepping up sanctions against Harare by deporting eight students who are children of top Zimbabwe officials.
Australian sources said dependents affected include three children of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, and offspring of Economic Planning Minister Sylvester Nguni, Science and Technology Minister Olivia Muchena, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, and Harare Provincial Governor David Karminzira.
The Zimbabwe National Students Union said it welcomed Canberra‘s move.
On the same flight that carried the students back to Africa was opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, whose contacts with top Australian officials in recent days during a visit Down Under drew heated criticism from Harare officials and state media.
Tsvangirai spokesman William Bango said that during the connecting flight between Johannesburg and Harare, Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri accused Tsvangirai of spurring Australia to deport the students.