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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Post-Liberation Xenophobia in Southern Africa: The Case of the Influx of Undocumented Zimbabwean Immigrants into Botswana, c. 1995-2004
Author:Morapedi, Wazha G.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Geographic term:Botswana
Urbanization and Migration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589000701396330
Abstract:Xenophobic tendencies are now well rooted in a number of southern African countries, notably Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. Botswana has seen an influx of undocumented Zimbabweans over the past decade largely as a result of the poor economic conditions in Zimbabwe. In some quarters in Botswana, the influx of Zimbabwean immigrants is seen as a 'crisis' and this could harden attitudes towards Zimbabweans. Rising xenophobic tendencies, especially towards Zimbabweans, are becoming more apparent. Scapegoating and 'the soaring crime thesis' can largely explain the recent spurt of xenophobia. Illegal Zimbabwean immigrants have become scapegoats for the growing economic and social problems bedevilling Botswana. At the same time, the influx of undocumented Zimbabwean immigrants has coincided with a rising crime wave and some politicians, local newspapers, the police and leaders of civic society have associated Zimbabweans with this rise in crime. Labelling Zimbabweans criminals crystallizes the distinction between 'us' and 'them' and is likely to contribute towards negative attitudes towards Zimbabweans and the legitimation of xenophobia. The official stand of the government of Botswana has been that the country's laws ought to be observed, cautioning Batswana against taking the law into their own hands, calling for understanding, tolerance and adherence to the rule of law, and seeking humane solutions to the issue of immigration. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]