By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
08 July 2014
Vice President Joice Mujuru’s call to Zimbabweans based outside the country to return shows that she is “clueless”, political activist Wilbert Mukori has said.
Mukori was reacting to a call made by Mujuru during her address to mourners gathered to bury ZANU PF official Stanley Sakupwanya at the national shrine on Sunday.
Mujuru said the late Sakupwanya had returned home in 1980 after spending many years in exile. She urged other exiled Zimbabweans to follow his example and return to help develop the country.
“They must come and work to build the country. The economy may not be moving in the direction that some of us would have wanted but we are there to work for the people,” Mujuru said.
But Mukori, spokesperson for the opposition Zimbabwe Social Democrats party, said Mujuru clearly does not understand what the problem in Zimbabwe is.
“It is unclear why she wants those in the Diaspora to return. If it is on the basis of a skills shortage, then her call does not make sense. This is because there are thousands of skilled but underutilised Zimbabweans, in the country, who are capable of developing the country if only ZANU PF will fix the economy and provide the opportunities,” Mukori said.
Mukori said it would seem ZANU PF wants the exiles to return not because the party values them as citizens but for the financial worth that those in the Diaspora have come to represent.
Zimbabweans abroad have pumped billions of dollars into the economy since ZANU PF plunged the country into a political and economic crisis.
“But why would anyone want to go back and invest in a country that continues to be run down through ZANU PF corruption and mismanagement? They have got to address the problems besetting the country first.”
These problems include ZANU PF’s repressive rule, high unemployment rate, lawlessness, public sector corruption, nepotism and the ruling party’s policy of expropriating private property.
Many Zimbabweans believe part of the solution lies in implementing the economic and political reforms agreed on during the tenure of the three-party unity government.
ZANU PF continues to resist these reforms, because in the current set up the party’s top brass are guaranteed privileged access to power and resources which they continue to abuse with impunity.
Mujuru’s statements come just a month after another ZANU PF bigwig, Simon Khaya Moyo, issued a similar call for Diaspora-based Zimbabweans to return.
As in Mujuru’s case exiled Zimbabweans largely dismissed Moyo, with many arguing that given the regime’s contempt for the Diaspora the return, if it happened, would not be for their mutual benefit.
They say ZANU PF is desperate and looking to the Diaspora for a solution to the crumbling economy. Many say they will only be convinced once the ruling party meets them halfway and restores their voting rights, and allows dual citizenship.
Under the country’s new constitution, exiled Zimbabweans have a right to vote and to dual citizenship. These rights however have been denied because the ruling party will not fully implement the new charter, or align old laws to it.