Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora are sceptical about President Robert Mugabe’s gospel of tolerance which came after the Zanu PF leader made pleas to Zimbabweans in foreign countries to assist efforts aimed at turning the country’s ailing economy around.
By Edgar Gweshe
Addressing Zimbabweans living in Ethiopia on Sunday, Mugabe urged Diasporans to work closely with the government saying that Zimbabwe belonged to all despite political affiliation.
Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a free fall since the 2013 harmonised elections won by Mugabe and Zanu PF by a huge margin.
Over three million Zimbabweans are estimated to have fled the country at the turn of the millennium due to economic and political reasons.
In an interview, Zimbabwe Exiles’ Forum chairperson Gabriel Shumba said there was need for confidence-building measures for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to embrace Mugabe’s words.
“For us to have more confidence in the sincerity of the President, we call upon our embassies to start working with us in identifying bottlenecks and possible solutions,” said Shumba.
He said there were no guarantees for Zimbabweans who fled political persecution that they would be safe if they return to their motherland.
Shumba said the human rights situation in Zimbabwe was a cause for concern citing the case of human rights activist Itai Dzamara, who was allegedly abducted by State security agents early March and has not been found yet.
“We remain concerned that some of us who are in political exile have not heard anything regarding immunity from politically-motivated charges if we come back home.
“We are also concerned about continued political repression and the erosion of fundamental freedoms of speech, assembly and others, especially the recent enforced disappearance of Itai Dzamara,” said Shumba.
He, however, said Diasporans will be willing to turn to their homeland if the environment is conducive.
“Diasporans will always regard Zimbabwe as their motherland, political and other differences aside. We are keen to assist our country in various ways, as we have always done,” said Shumba.