Diaspora most viable exports

via Diaspora most viable exports – DailyNews Live 22 July 2014 by Conrad Nyamutata

HARARE – Last week, both President Robert Mugabe and his deputy Joice Mujuru addressed the issue of Diasporans, the former, chiding them for leaving their own country, and the latter imploring them to return and help “rebuild” Zimbabwe.

Mugabe sounded aggrieved that the Zimbabwean migrants had been accepted in their present domiciles as running away from his “evil regime”.

Unless Mugabe is completely out of touch, he would know that his Zanu PF supporters committed some horrific acts with impunity in years gone by. Evidence abounds — from the Chiminyas to the Ndiras; it is all there.

Mugabe cannot possibly compare the environment his regime has created to most of the Diasporans’ present domiciles.

Here, people are arrested for the most innocuous statements on allegations of demeaning him.

Now, take where the Diasporans live. They barely encounter political violence.  Leaders have been the subject of all sorts of attacks.

Last year, British comedian Russell Brand described Prime Minister David Cameron as “filthy, dirty, posh…” followed by an unprintable word. Most recently, Piers Morgan described Cameron as “a self-serving, soulless weasel”.

Both men walk the streets free. In Zimbabwe, the two would be in a filthy, dirty and not-so-posh slammer.

President Barack Obama has also been rudely interrupted during speeches, and at times, described in the most derogatory of terms. Some leaders are even been pelted with eggs.

These are not perfect societies. But what Diasporans have now learnt is that presidents or prime ministers are not gods; they are human beings who, owing to expectations vested in them, invite public anger expressed in harmless ways ever so often.

Apologists will, of course, point to cultural asymmetries. But a culture that creates demigods in humans, does not accept the reality of harmless anger or, worse still, accepts the murder of its own with impunity is most despicable.

Mugabe is right; not every Diasporan suffered persecution. Some left for economic reasons.

But why should we be obsessed about migrants who left Zimbabwe 10 or so years ago or on the reasons they left?

The only thing to do now is to accept the reality of a Zimbabwean Diaspora.

Politicians like Mujuru should not be exhorting the Diasporans to return and “rebuild” Zimbabwe either.
Around the time Mugabe was fulminating over the migrants, it was reported by State media that these Zimbabweans in the

Diaspora remitted $1,4 billion in the past two years;  the figure could even be higher if non-formal remittances were included.

It turns out then that while Mugabe, to borrow American colloquialism, “disses” migrants, these migrants have, in fact, become Zimbabwe’s most viable exports over the years, outperforming even diamonds.

In 2012, Zimbabwe earned $684,5 million from the stones.

On the other hand, statistics from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe indicate that in 2012, total remittances from the Diaspora, including those of industrial organisations, amounted to $2,1 billion, while in 2013 remittances totalled $1,8 billion.

Compare that to total traditional exports, probably including the diamonds, of $1,546 billion the same year.

Diasporans are doing far more in “rebuilding” the country from their current domiciles than they would in employment-less Zimbabwe.

It is probably Zimbabwe, or to be specific Zanu PF, that routinely “disses” its Diaspora. Other countries respect and recognise the importance of their citizens living abroad and are finding ways of tapping into the Diasporans.

Research by a Hong Kong-based Ghanaian academic Adams Bodomo showed that Africans living outside the continent send more money home to their families than is sent by traditional Western aid donors in the form of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

For instance, in 2010, the African Diaspora remitted $51,8 billion compared to $43 billion in ODA to Africa, according to World Bank figures.

At $1,4 billion, the Zimbabwean Diaspora is not doing too badly, is it?

Zimbabwe, in particular Zanu PF, would do well, first, to accept and respect the Diaspora, and secondly, find ways of tapping into it productively than take every opportunity to call them back or hurl abuse at them.


  • comment-avatar
    Charles Frizell 7 years ago

    Well, these fools make life impossible for intelligent and hard working people, who leave. Left behind are the stupid and the lazy.

    Of course,incessantly attacking “whites” who can and do greatly benifit the country does not help and investors just laugh and walk away when these thugs froth on about “indigenisation” which is just legislated theft by the Connected members of The Mafia

  • comment-avatar

    Charles Frizell You are obviously entitled to your own opinion. The only Problem is that you are so off the mark and your comment is just about one of the things that fuels Zanus hatred campaign against those that are not like them. How can a man in your position (intelligent and hard working person)as you call yourself say that those that stayed behind are stupid and the lazy? You don’t know how stupid and prejudiced that sounds. Any fool knows that there are different categories of people that were excepted into the countries that they now reside in. There are those that have ancestral rights in European countries such as Britain, Ireland , Portugal etc. Some have ancestral rights in South Africa and Botswana. There are also those that have skills that are are short in certain countries so they apply for vacancies and are given work permits for a certain time after which they can apply for permanent residence.The 4th group are granted Asylum for various reason. The 5th group are illegal immigrants or over stayers that get out of Zimbabwe into the country where they duck and dive and on the run from the immigration authorities.As a supposedly intelligent person you should be aware that most people in Zimbabwe are not in the above category. A lot of White people as well don’t have this because some are 4th and 5th even 6th generation. Some just don’t like the weather or the general lifestyles of these countries. Some have left and come back. If you want to diss Zanu pf you are free to do so, but short of sounding stupid and bigoted was I you would not generalize. But then again I am not you.

  • comment-avatar

    Doctor do little some people just cannot help them selves. He makes such a solid contribution and then rips it down with one stupid sentence. I for one have a dislike for prejudiced people who do not know that they are prejudiced. One of the key ones is Mugabe himself who thinks racism can only be white on black. Charles maybe needs to look into himself and ask if what he said was warranted. I just wonder if he has any “STUPID and LAZY” relatives or friends left in Zimbabwe.

  • comment-avatar
    Mdidi 7 years ago

    Is is not true that most competent and confident people who value their skills left the country? Yes it was impolite for Charles Frizell to say such unwarranted statements in a forum like this one but I can confirm that most big companies for instance in South Africa are run by boys from home. Look at Sifiso Dabengwa of MTN, Peter Moyo of Vodacom, Bongani Ngwababa formerly Eskom now with Anglo etc. These boys could have contributed by far better to Zimbabwe than the current crop of CEOs left to run down public and private companies. What we have in ZESA, NRZ, GMB, PTC is nothing but a joke to say the least. NO business accumen later on ethics. We can not afford to continue appointing key public official on patronage grounds with no connectivity whatsover to performane. We can not grow our economy through sloganeering. I think it is only Jonathan Moyo and a very few technocrats that we can talk about as the only remaing meaningful people in Zimbabwe whose attittudes are progressive.

  • comment-avatar

    Mdidi there are a lot of able and valuable people in Zimbabwe at the moment. They just don’t want to be in the limelight. If jobs were to be advertised in their areas of expertise they would apply for the jobs. The jobs are not there. Any sensible person in the diaspora would not come back to unemployment. Why, it is common knowledge that hospitals in the United Kingdom are staffed with high numbers of nurses from Zims mostly black. There was a shortage there. There is no shortage in the printing industry there so a lot of those in that group are in Botswana and South Africa and come home regularly because they love the country. I think what the others are saying here is that Fizzell is looking like a six with Mugabe being the nine depending on which way you hold that particular number. I have been reading here for a long time and I have yet to find a more sensitive man than Doctor do little. He seems to always refrain from words that would be hurtful to someone of anther colour or tribe.@ Doctor do little you have to expect people to rock other peoples boats. Don’t blame you though for returning fire…sometimes.