As a Zimbabwean who recently has witnessed Xenophobia in South AFRICA i thought its time to remind my fellow Zimbabweans that we should also remove the log in our eye before we start with the South Africans . This was posted by a Zimbabwean citizen about institutionalized RACISIM WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH
Racism at Zimbabwe Passport Office
by Lorraine Randall
25 April 2015 |
I am writing this letter to report the appalling treatment I received from two of the ladies sitting at the front desk at the Citizenship Office at the Harare passport office recently.
My Zimbabwean passport and that of my husband had expired at the end of January 2015, so we decided to renew them as we needed to travel to represent Zimbabwe at an international karate tournament in South Africa in May, as we have done since 2006.
I was born in Zimbabwe in 1975 but because my father was born in Portugal I was subjected to verbal abuse by the lady at the front desk. I was interrogated like a criminal. she asked me in 15 different ways if I was the holder of a foreign passport, when did I last travel on it and so on ……each time I replied, I do not have another passport, I only possess a Zimbabwean passport as I have done since the age of 16.
She then asked me to produce my father’s name. On receiving it, she mocked his Portuguese birth name whilst she looked up his details on the computer. I then was told to get his national identification number, so I had to call him on the cell phone to obtain this information. She then asked me where my renunciation letter was from the Portuguese Embassy.
I advised her that I had supplied a citizen of Zimbabwe certificate from 2004, so didn’t that qualify me as a citizen? I was then very rudely told to go and “sit down over there”. When she returned she came back with my folder from the archives. As I waited, I heard my name being mentioned a few times by various officials, so I assumed I was being called up to her counter.
I asked are you calling me? To which she rudely replied “go and sit down, I did not call you”. I really was starting to get very upset so I messaged my husband who was in another office. I told him how I was being treated like a common criminal and spoken to like a dog.
He asked one of the officials how much money it would cost for the woman in the citizenship office to stop treating me so badly. He replied “$100”.
My husband paid the $100 and messaged me to just stay calm. As I sat and waited I heard a faint voice calling out something from the room next door. I didn’t respond at first. When I went to the counter, she asked me why I didn’t come as soon as she called me. At this stage I was standing to her right, she wasn’t happy about that and demanded that I stand to her left – I have no idea why.
Then I was told to go and get photocopies of the back page of my passport. As I left to do so, the other lady at the counter shouted at me saying “go and sit down, where do you think you are going?”.
I tried to tell her, but she rudely left me standing there like an imbecile. Eventually I had my finger prints and application form done.
I have never been treated so badly! The racial tension at the passport office is totally unacceptable. Is it not my right as a Zimbabwean to renew my passport?
Is it not my right, that I should be treated with some dignity and respect?