• There are between 4 to 7 million people Zimbabweans living abroad.
  • Diaspora remittances amount to US$ 797.27 million in 2022.
  • A call from the public for those living in the diaspora to vote.

Harare - In a recent social media post, the Deputy Chief Secretary to the Cabinet of Zimbabwe, George Charamba, made a statement regarding the contribution of diaspora remittances to the country's economy. He stated that they have a greater impact than NGOs. However, some respondents expressed scepticism about the post, pointing out that the government has been reluctant to grant voting rights to Zimbabweans living abroad. They suggested that if the government recognizes the significance of the diaspora's financial contributions to the economy, they should also acknowledge the importance of their political voice. This raises questions about the relationship between diaspora communities and the government, and the ways in which their contributions and rights are recognized and valued. It also highlights the complex nature of Zimbabwe's political and economic landscape and the challenges faced by those seeking to engage with the country's issues from abroad.

In 2017, it was reported that the number of Zimbabweans living outside their country surpassed 3 million. This number, as per a recent Google search, now varies between 4 to 7 million people. This is a significant number that represents a sizable portion of Zimbabwe's population. It is not surprising that the number has increased, given the current state of the country's economy and political climate, which serves as a push factor for many who leave the country and their families in search of a better life.

Furthermore, foreign countries, such as the UK, are intensifying their efforts to recruit key public sector workers to mitigate their shortage of nurses and teachers following changing relations with the European Union. This has had a specific impact on Zimbabwe, as many of its skilled workers are being lured away by the promise of better salaries and working conditions abroad. This serves as a pull factor, and as a result, the number of Zimbabweans living outside their country is expected to increase further in the coming years, which could potentially have a significant impact on the country's economy and social fabric.

Despite this, many Zimbabweans are keen to return home if the economy can accommodate a more decent livelihood. There also remain Zimbabweans who choose to remain in the country, despite its challenges.

The issue of Zimbabweans leaving the country is not new, as the country has faced political and economic instability for many years. The prevalence of corruption, a lack of job opportunities, and limited access to basic services have all contributed to the desire of Zimbabweans to seek a better life elsewhere. Despite this, many Zimbabweans continue to support and contribute to their home country in various ways, including through sending remittances and engaging in advocacy and activism from abroad.

It is important for the Zimbabwean government to recognize the significant contributions of its diaspora and to work towards creating an environment that encourages Zimbabweans to stay in the country and contribute to its development. This includes addressing issues related to corruption, job creation, and access to basic services. The government should also consider granting voting rights to Zimbabweans living abroad, as a way to acknowledge and value their political voice.

In addition, foreign countries should also be mindful of the impact of their recruitment efforts on the Zimbabwean economy and social fabric. While the recruitment of skilled workers may be necessary in some cases, it is important to ensure that such efforts are done in a way that does not harm the development of Zimbabwe and the well-being of its citizens.

Overall, the issue of Zimbabweans living abroad and their contributions to the country's economy and political landscape is complex and multifaceted. It requires a comprehensive approach that involves the government, diaspora communities, and foreign countries. By working together, it is possible to create a brighter future for Zimbabwe and its people. 

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