WASHINGTON — Leading Zimbabwean refugee groups in South Africa have dismissed recent press reports that Zimbabweans living in that country will not be allowed to renew their permits when they expire in November.
Although no official comment could be obtained from the South African government, the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai in that country and the Zimbabwe Migrants International, two of the organizations that hold regular meetings with South African officials on permit issues, both dismissed the reports.
The South African government granted Zimbabweans living in that country a special dispensation some four years ago, allowing them to regularize their stay.
Most of the permits that were obtained by more than 250,000 Zimbabweans are set to expire in November.
Recent media reports alleged Zimbabweans would not be allowed to renew the permits unless they go back home and submit their applications.
However, communications director Daniel Muzenda of the Zimbabwe Migrants International said in their last meeting with South African officials, it was agreed that a new directive would come from the new cabinet that is yet to be sworn-in following recent elections.