If Zimbabwe Is On The Right Track, Why Are Exiled Zimbabweans Not Coming Back Home?

Morning at Beitbridge border post, the gateway for Zimbabweans who fled Mugabe's misrule to find jobs in better-run South Africa. And they are not coming back, despite professed positive changes in Zimbabwe. Why not?

If the government of Zimbabwe, the one between MDC and ZANU PF, is working well and achieving positive results in Zimbabwe, why are our citizens still outside the country, living and working in Britain, South Africa, New Zealand and so on?


If STERP and the other plans that this government has are in tune with what Zimbabwe needs to roar again, why are our countrymen refusing to come back home and help make the vision of thet STERP a resounding success?

Instead, what we have now is Zimbabweans overseas "urging" the West to give money to the MDC-PF in order to turn the country around. What we have is applause for a strategy (STERP) that hinges purely on begging for alms from the West in order to feed the nation.

If that money comes, what will be done with it?

Most qualified personnel from Zimbabwe have found jobs elsewhere. This has left a serious gap in skills needed to revive Zimbabwe. From civil engineers to mechanics, let alone accountants and scientists, Zimbabwe is short.

Instead of praising the moribund and visionless plans of this government, Zimbabweans with skills out there in the diaspora need to start putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak.

It all reminds me of a comment on the South African Sunday Times website late last year when it was announced that South Africa had committed to giving Zimbabwe 300 million Rand in farm aid.

The commenter, a South African, said Zimbabwe should get nothing, South Africans needed to satisfy their own needs first.

"I have been fortunate enough to interact with educated Zimbabweans in South Africa, UK, New Zealand and USA and they are all very negative about their country. So why should I care about their country when they don't?"

That attitude is still with us in the world.

It appears that, to some extent, MDC-T supporters and Morgan Tsvangirai have realised this. Instead of exposing the truth about how Mugabe is still stubborn, refusing to replace Permanent Secretaries, refusing to fire Gono and Tomana, arresting MDC-T activists and officials like Gandi Mudzingwa, they are very keen to to sanitise Mugabe now, to say to the world is everything is just fine, the government is working well and Tsvangirai is winning and has power, so give us the money.

Of course, much of the world is not paying attention. The World Bank has just clarified it's position on the US$22 million that Tendai Biti claimed had been given to Zimbabwe.

They say, no, we are doing no such thing. The money is money that we have been giving to aid agencies and NGO all along for humanitarian work. The government gets nothing.

Of course, the money has not made a much fundamental difference even through all the years that aid agencies and NGOs have been getting it.

Still, the question remains: would it not convince the world even more that things have changed in Zimbabwe if all her exiled doctors, nurses, scientists, civil engineers and other qualified Zimbabweans started flocking back to the country, looking to see where they can help to uplift their country?

As long as the praises of the MDC-PF government are sung by Zimbabweans from the comfort of Peterborough, Manchester, Brighton, Alberta, New York and Johannesburg, then the words sound very hollow indeed.

And the world will ignore those voices and instead look inside Zimbabwe to make up its own mind.

The situation obtaining now is simply this: Zimbabweans outside Zimbabwe, professionals who are working elsewhere, show by their actions that they do not have confidence in Zimbabwe. The world takes its cue from the actions, not only of Mugabe, but also of those who oppose him.

That is the basis upon which they will judge whether to engage and help Zimbabwe or not.


  1. the negativity by zim professionals is understandble seeing as you do that even after a unity agreement, mugabe is still singing from the same anti-west hym book. the GNU borrowing from the world bank, imf etc isnt whats gona bring zimbabweans home. This is aid money to run our schools and hospitals while building up the country's debt. where are the companies that led the citizens to flee their beloved country for new leases of life elsewhere? where is the freedom that they have always silently expected but never trully obtained? in zim the gvt always talks of trips to woo investers, how do you woo an invester then tell them 'go back where you belong, this land is for zimbabweans?' the world is a global village. zim farmers have gone as far affiel as nigeria,newzealand, uk. Que zim industry. if in zimbabwe they dont want you, what about mozambique, malawi, australia? you see.

    where are the policies that are in tune with the rest of the world to woo the world to our beautiful country?

    in zimbabwe, the rule of law went out the window, hostile policies were soon enacted to boot, the next thing is companies left, and professionals followed. so in a classic case of First out First(FIFI) in scenario, we need - rule of law back to protect people and companies, macroeconomic policies in place to create a conducive environment for business, then you will see that business will flow back in, and our professionals will see this and fly back in.


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