The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Regional Intergration and International Cooperation, Tadeous Chifamba, said Zimbabwe should begin to train people to go and work in other countries so as to boost foreign currency inflows.
He said government should work on a Diaspora policy, whereby training institutions would be able to equip Zimbabweans with skills that would enable them to work outside the country and enrich the country with foreign currency.
“We want government to work on a calibrated Diaspora policy and invest in our training institutions, so that we release people to go and work outside the country,” said Chifamba.
He said this would help government to benefit immensely from foreign currency generated in the Diaspora. He was addressing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, which had asked his ministry to give them a briefing on their expectations from the 2011 Budget.
Chifamba said there was no deliberate policy to use Zimbabweans in the Diaspora as an anti-sanctions lobby. He was responding to a question by Gutu North MP, Hamandishe Maramwidze, who wanted to know what the Ministry of Regional Integration and International Cooperation was doing to help address the issue of sanctions.
“I cannot say there is a deliberate policy by government to mobilise the people in the Diaspora to perform the functions of becoming anti-sanctions lobbies. However, there are various groups in the Diaspora that government is trying to engage,” said Chifamba.
He said the country should work on Diaspora savings to create a Diaspora bond so that their funds can go to investment or so that they set up businesses or even identify partners in industry so that they benefit in terms of the percentage of equity.
However, Chifamba said uncertainty over the issues of dual citizenship and eligibility to vote was also deterring investment and economic participation by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
“They are also looking at issues like voting rights and dual citizenship. All these things are issues that you, Honourable Members, can look at when drafting our constitution,” said Chifamba.