This reminds one of a childhood play where one group would represent runaway children, the other parents and the third one the lions.
Parents would call, “Bantwana bantwana wozani ekhaya” translated, “children come home” and children would respond “siyesaba” “we are afraid” — “what are you afraid of?”— and the children would again respond: “we are afraid of lions”.
Parents would assure children that lions have since died. Unfortunately on their way back home some of the children would be caught by lions.
This play displayed the deceitfulness of some parents in giving their children an empty sense of security.
On April 30 a local newspaper carried a story where President Robert Mugabe called on Zimbabweans, especially in South Africa, to come back home.
Like in the above narrated play, children are afraid of lions.
The government must give assurance that the lions are no more, before Zimbabweans in foreign lands may decide to come back.
Again those coming back may do so at their own risk, as depicted in the play alluded to earlier on.
Lions in the form of unemployment, political polarisation, selective application of the law and selective distribution of resources to name a few, waylay the children being called home.
The President went on to aver that people flocking to South Africa think it (South Africa) is heaven
This sarcasm aside, the bottom line is that people have failed or have been denied basic rights like rights to employment and life, resulting in them voting with their feet, instead of the pen.
Instead of castigating countries of refuge, Zimbabwe should be thanking these countries for being surrogate governments to its citizens.
Another story carried by a local daily insinuated that some Zimbabweans intended suing South African President Jacob Zuma over xenophobia.
South Africa’s Bill of Rights is there mainly to protect own citizens. It is through bilateral and international laws that migrants are taken care of.
If anything, those Zimbabweans intending to sue Zuma should revisit their country’s Bill of Rights as enshrined in Sections 44 – 88, Chapter 4 of the Constitution.
Botswana President Ian Khama in the Zimbabwe Independent of May 1, may have emotionally responded when he charged that African leaders should stop behaving as if South Africa was an employment bureau for the continent.
However, the truth of the matter is that it is mandatory for any government worth governing to create jobs for its citizens.
If the truth were to be told, South Africa has been very accommodative of foreigners.
One also needs to take into mind that the ruling ANC’s survival hinges on the electorate
If the same electorate is beginning to raise issues of losing jobs to foreigners and Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters putting more pressure on government to decisively deal with poverty, what must the ANC do? Must it lose an election over the issue of foreigners grabbing jobs and opportunities from South African citizens?
On the other hand, Zuma statesmanly drove his point home, when he asked: “Why are their citizens not in their countries?” Putting up a seemingly bold face under such a barrage of attacks on irresponsible governance is but burying one’s head in the sand, when the rest of the body remains vulnerable.
In the NewsDay of May 1 Mugabe was quoted as having said crime perpetrators were Southerners, the Kalangas, because of their lack of education. Statistically, the Northerners are majority everywhere, be it in Zimbabwe, South Africa and elsewhere.
In any case, crime is not all about violence and theft. Based on Zimbabwe’s record, corruption is the biggest scourge that has brought this country to its knees.
The Salarygate scandal was unearthed with all necessary evidence, but was unbelievably quashed.
To date, it is as if nothing happened — but why? Because “corruption” did not threaten State power or was a siphoning conduit for funding State machinery.
These and a myriad of other similarly glaring misdeeds were instrumental to some Zimbabweans forsaking the motherland.
One thing the government needs to learn is to give credit where it is due and owning up its shortfalls.
There is need for the government to take full responsibility and accountability for its direct and indirect actions.
There is no time a man is great than when he says, I am sorry.
When things are right at home, children won’t be called back, they will on their own accord flock back home. We saw a glimpse of this during the inclusive government.
Why chide South Africa for being a little heaven? Why not turn Zimbabwe into one? Long live the late Tata Mandela and Big Josh’s philosophies of the Rainbow Nation and Son of the Soil.
Given these two philosophies, Zimbabwe would be a jewel of Africa, a haven of rest and the destiny for all forms of investment.
CRY MY BELOVED COUNTRY.