Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday pleaded with his country’s skilled workers living in the diaspora to return home so that they could help in reviving the southern African country’s floundering economy.
This came at a time when an estimated four million Zimbabweans were living outside the country after fleeing economic problems and alleged political persecution at the hands of the 93 year-old leader’s administration.
Officiating at his ruling Zanu-PF party’s youth rally held at Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane, Matabeleland North Province – about 600km of the capital Harare, Mugabe said skilled Zimbabweans working abroad should come back home so that they could help in developing the nation, which he says had vast mineral resources.
“We have a lot of minerals in Zimbabwe, every province has minerals, gold is in every province and we hope our mines ministry will work hard so that we can explore underneath the ground and our youth can be employed in the process,” said Mugabe.
‘Zimbabwean economy is in dire straits’
“We would want blacks to be employers so mining engineers can team up and form their own companies. We have so many skilled Zimbabweans living outside the country and they should come back home and use their skills here so that we help each other to develop our nation.
“If their problem is on low wages, we can work a plan and ensure that they are properly remunerated for their skills,” added Mugabe.
But a UK based Zimbabwean civil engineer, Tafadzwa Hondo, told News24 via email that he would only return to the country if the economy had improved.
“The Zimbabwean economy is in dire straits, the government is failing to pay its workers and the political situation back home is not stable.
“So for anyone to tell me to come back home now is like telling me to go to prison. Authorities have to create a conducive economic and political environment for some of us to return home. We love our country but there is an elephant in the room,” said Hondo.