Stephen Mpofu Correspondent
The wake-up call might seem to have almost taken an eternity to register on the minds of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, while illegal Western sanctions virtually brought the economy at home on its knees. But when things started to happen, as they did this week, the news could not have failed to titillate the ears of patriotic Zimbabweans in the same way as a yes from a girl being propositioned does to the heart of a man after a long pursuit of her.
That more or less seems to this pen to sum up the response of Zimbabweans to news that their patriotic fellow citizens living in and working in the Diaspora have at last stacked enthusiastic interests in programmes by the Government to rebuild an economy virtually shattered by punitive sanctions imposed by Britain and the United States of America in 2001.
The sanctions were followed a year later by a similar financial and economic embargo by the European Union, also in protest at this country’s Land Reform Programme which reclaimed land from some white farmers for redistribution to black Zimbabweans who needed that asset the most.
This exciting turn of events obviously puts to bed negative perceptions by many that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora had turned their backs on the motherland in search of greener pastures for their personal aggrandisement and were, therefore, unpatriotic people.
What the new development seems to demonstrate instead is that East, North, West, home is best however, one appeared to enjoy the best of all things in a foreign land.
A disclosure by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa following an investment conference in South Africa over a month ago to the effect that some young Zimbabwean businesspeople in South Africa had approached the Zimbabwean Government to fund some projects back home, is probably the best news from Zimbabweans abroad for whom there can be no parallel for a motherland pursued by Western imperialists.
A revival of the ailing National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) as a major player in the economy will certainly give the Zimbabweans abroad the kudos they deserve for their unflinching love of the motherland, as will do their purchase of agricultural equipment, what with Command Agriculture now poised to put the country back on the road to food self-sufficiency.
What is more, the willingness by the diasporans to finance the construction of fuel pipelines from Harare to South Africa, Botswana and Zambia should provide an additional relief to Zimbabwe’s economic renaissance thereby posing a brave new future for all.
The illegal sanctions against this country have virtually halted much-needed capital inflows from the West so that only Zimbabwe’s all weather friends in the East, countries that also supported our armed, freedom struggle continued to help us financially and morally to this day.
What now remains is for our Government to make impassioned calls to other Zimbabweans working abroad to also cross the Rubicon, as will now Zimbabweans working in South Africa and in that way dismantle the iniquitous Western economic embargo altogether.
As things stand, the West still appears hell-bent on effecting regime change in hopes of killing land reform, and it, therefore, behoves on all patriotic Zimbabweans to be wary of conspirators — those running dogs of imperialism after power for its own sake — as votes near next year.
Be that as it may, however, hard earned money that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora invest in Zimbabwe’s economic revival should not end up in unorthodox pockets of people reaping where they did not sow.
Stated simply, a scrupulous watch over the security of funds invested in the economic revival by Zimbabweans based in foreign lands should become second nature to all patriots to prevent corruption which might eventually negate the enthusiasm of the diasporans investing in our country’s economic turnaround.
Denouncing corruption in the strongest words possible is all very well. But if no punitive action accompanies the anti-graft rhetoric fleet-fingered hands will not be restrained from plundering investments meant for the good of every Zimbabwean.
This, therefore, is a humble call by this pen to all who loath corrupt tendencies to help inculcate an anti-graft culture among present and upcoming generations in our society with prospects for making Zimbabwe a favourable investment destination.
The beauty of investment back home by Zimbabweans plying their trade in foreign lands is that it is bereft of conditionalities that weigh heavily in favour of money invested by foreigners, for instance as both the investor and the country as a whole derive maximum benefit from the financial support with no part of any profit made being repatriated.