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About time our citizens are ‘recalled’

It has now become commonplace to hear of Zimbabweans being among victims of global tragedies, natural or man-made.

UNDERNEATH reports that seven Zimbabweans were among 34 people who died when a building collapsed in George, Western Cape, South Africa, is a very sad story of a desperate people who are now flung far and wide across the globe where they are busy searching for a better life.

It has now become commonplace to hear of Zimbabweans being among victims of global tragedies, natural or man-made.

Not so long ago we heard news that there are several Zimbabweans fighting as mercenaries in the long-drawn Russia-Ukraine war, highlighting the fact that our people are probably the world’s most travelled.

Even when on September 11, 2001 some al-Qaeda suicide terrorist bombers ploughed hijacked passenger planes into New York buildings and the Pentagon, we heard that some Zimbabweans died in the attacks.

Go anywhere on this planet, you are sure to come across a Zimbabwean, and when you ask them how they found themselves there, it is almost certain that they will tell you that economic troubles back home drove them to yonder lands.

While migration is a global phenomenon with 2020 estimates indicating that there were around 281 million international migrants in the world, equating to 3,6% of the global population, Zimbabwe should seriously introspect on what is pushing its citizens to migrate in such large numbers.

Given that the country’s untenable economic situation is a major driving force, it is probably high time the present government accepted the fact that it has been mismanaging the country’s economy which it has allowed to be ravaged by corruption, and continuing to hide behind the issue of sanctions will not help the situation.

We have been officially told that the country has been losing in excess of US$1,8 billion annually to corruption, a figure we believe is not normal for a country as “poor” as Zimbabwe. If all that money had been allowed to flow into the country’s development, many of our folks would not be dying in foreign lands while busy developing other nations.

Our past proves that we have the capacity to create enough decent jobs locally to dissuade citizens from migrating to other nations where they are breaking their backs doing menial work.

The state of Zimbabwe’s countryside, for instance, clearly exposes government’s glaring shortcomings in terms of managing the country’s economy whereby it has failed to demand its pound of flesh after doling out thousands of hectares of fertile arable land to pseudo farmers who have hardly produced anything to shore up our once agro-based economy.

Many of our compatriots now holed up in foreign lands could be employed on these once very productive farmlands which are now idle and have rendered many jobless, forcing them to cross borders just to make ends meet.

Our mining sector, yet another area which could easily boost our economy, has been allowed to embarrassingly be run down by armies of disorganised so-called artisanal miners numbering more than a million, so we hear. The buk of what they are burrowing from our rich soils is contributing little to the country’s economic growth as corrupt individuals are busy benefiting from the nation’s minerals.

The few organised mines which are still formally operating are proof enough that if government decides to become serious about turning around the country’s economic fortunes, many of our fellow citizens would not be driven abroad in such huge numbers that they are now found in virtually all corners of the world.


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