BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Government and other stakeholders have been urged to design a robust national migration policy (NMP) that will harness the development potential of migration.
Officially opening a three-day NMP draft workshop supported by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) that started in Mutare on Tuesday, Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema said the NMP would usher in co-ordinated and a coherent migration management system in Zimbabwe.
“Government and its partners must share expertise, experience and knowledge in the contemporary management of migration with a view of harnessing its development potential, while we seek ways of mitigating the negative impact of migration,” he said.
“The policy will, therefore, be the over-arching document which will address all issues pertaining to migrants, be they Zimbabweans or nationals from other countries.”
The policy will be mainstreamed into the transitional stabilisation programme that acknowledges the fundamental role played by the diaspora in investment and formal remittance transfers, which have been augmenting the country’s foreign currency reserves.
Guided by the Africa Union Migration Policy Framework for Africa (2018-2030), the NMP will be an over-arching migration management framework for monitoring and regulating internal and international migration, as well as proper data collection and dissemination on migration trends.
The formulation of the NMP is in conjunction with the government framework on promoting migration governance in Zimbabwe and the comprehensive border assessment and immigration policy for enhancing capacity on integrated border management in projects that are being funded by the European Union and the IOM Development Fund, respectively.
Mathema added that the country does not have a concrete figure of people in the diaspora.
“I am informed that currently, the only reliable statistics about Zimbabweans living in the diaspora is around 574 047, according to ZimStat census in 2016,” he said.
“The majority of Zimbabweans in the diaspora are living mainly in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Australia. However, due to irregular migration and lack of systematic sharing of migration data, the size of Zimbabweans in the diaspora remains unknown.”
Mathema said better migration governance could, therefore, “be realised through the development of evidence-based policies that take into account the whole government approach that we have embraced”.