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Zanu PF forced Zimbabweans into diaspora


By Tanonoka Joseph Whande

IT was Aristotle who said that it is in the course of our dealings with our fellow men that we become just or unjust.



na, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Maybe my compatriots can help me to understand because, like so many of us, I am unavoidably submerged in the morasses and mysteries of the murky and cloudy political fields of Zanu PF.


Except for Zanu PF employees at Zimbabwean embassies abroad, all our compatriots in the diaspora have been denied the right to vote. Those who left the country ran away from the worsening economic situation, the violence, the deteriorating and intolerant political climate and the non-existence of jobs. Our compatriots rightfully blame President Robert Mugabe for all these woes.


Today, some of them are not even free to leave their host countries such as the United Kingdom or South Africa because they will not be allowed back in. For some, an attempt to depart would expose their illegal presence in the host country. Yet still, some face arrest upon arrival back in Zimbabwe.


But why are so many of our citizens out there in the first place? Didn’t they leave because they were either denied the opportunity to participate in the “development” of the country or they were nudged out of jobs which they were qualified in but which were given to unqualified subalterns because of patronage? How are these citizens supposed to help in development when there are no jobs to make that possible, unless they are coming back to hawk cheap Chinese goods?


Our compatriots might also not care to live in a country or under a government that accepts the destruction of life with no explanations, repercussions or consequences.


We are losing our professionals, including the much-maligned farmers, to the West, Europe and to fellow African countries but Mugabe says we must now look East.


Asked what he thought about complaints by Zimbabweans that Chinese goods were inferior and of extremely poor quality, Chris Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to China, called the Zimbabwean people “ignorant” on live television. He said that Zimbabweans are unable to discern good products from bad ones. Really, Mr Mutsvangwa?


Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono announced that the government has established a $750 billion housing facility to assist Zimbabweans living in the diaspora.


To the government, this is apparently a stroke of genius. Gono’s endless trips out of the country to convince our disenfranchised foreign-based citizens to send money through the government’s Homelink programme failed. In retaliation, the government did not extend to them the right to vote.

Neither did the government lift the threat to arrest some of them upon return home.


Yet Gono wants these people to take advantage of the housing scheme set up just for them by this same government here in Zimbabwe. This comes from a man who was a bit too economic with information about failed and failing banks.


Gono quietly collected these failed banks and is “amalgamating” them into one. Alas! Zimbabwe’s largest bank is going to be composed from the ashes of all of Zimbabwe’s failed indigenously owned banks.


Gono even promises our foreign-based compatriots “a refund in foreign currency at the ruling auction exchange rate” should they fail to continue with the scheme. Am I a moron or am I a moron?


Since the government’s “project promoters are expected to conduct a thorough screening of applicants in determining their eligibility and credit rating”, I conclude that this scheme is just for Zanu PF operatives scattered around the globe lazing around at embassies.


Or is the government conveniently forgetting that many of our compatriots have rather preferred to live as fugitives and refugees in foreign countries than starve as “free people” in the country of their birth?


We have already seen that there are no property rights in Zimbabwe and, should recourse be necessary, the courts are totally unreliable. So what person in their right frame of mind would “invest” in Zimbabwe under the prevailing conditions and under this government?


This government arrests those who want to be paid fair wages. It depicts trade unions as enemies. As a result, this government has driven away our qualified teachers, nurses, artisans and thousands of professionals.


Only last week, Mugabe allegedly refused to visit Harare Central Hospital because he wanted to avoid the embarrassment of coming face to face with one of the glaring realities that depict his failures.


Only last week, Mugabe told some gathered nursing graduates that they should maintain health standards. What standards when the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists and other medical technicians have been forced to leave home just to be able to survive?


Also last week, Mugabe was urging Zimbabwean professionals allegedly “poached” for their skills by Britain, the United States and other African countries to come back home “to help develop the country”. (Herald, October 29.) Ah, so those Zanu PF people who benefited from mindless patronage have, for 24 years, failed to develop the country?


Today, the minimum postage fee for a local letter is $4 000. Even Zimpost and Tel*One can no longer afford to mail their invoices and statements!


Tanonoka Joseph Whande is a Zvishavane-based writer.

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