Exodus to UK opens news doors to racism Former Mayor of Corby Councillor Chikoto

Dr Masimba Mavaza

Racism and other longstanding inequities have prompted a global outcry against injustice. This has specifically risen due to the influx of people in diaspora communities who have been given COS visas.

COS regime has brought up issues that affect diaspora populations in the UK. Issues ranging from physical abuse and emotional abuse.

There is a question of how authorities are being prepared to address race and ethnicity issues in and outside employment premises in which they must meaningfully ensure workers’  voices and advocacy are part of the solution in institutional change.

The situation in diaspora has reached another level. Racism is done so openly and nobody seems to bother.

People of African descent have lived in the UK for centuries. Indeed, they have been here since antiquity, but in small numbers. Yet, since 2020, we have seen their population increasing considerably. In recent years, Zimbabwean diaspora groups have become the subject of increased attention.

The history of their migration is different from other migrants who came here for work from other countries. Africans came either in ancient times as slaves and later as either students to further their education and improve their job opportunities back home, as overseas workers, as political asylum running away from economic issues.

There is now abundant evidence of how people of African diaspora are dealt with aspect of their race, class and nationality. Their experiences is generally simplistically compared to those of the local black.

They generally face inequality, poverty, police brutality with regular stop and searches as well as racism.  Their overbearing presence has created animosity with the locals and with even.

Zimbabweans who have stayed longer in the UK who feel that they own the space they are in.

The authorities take advantage of the fact that the people are still new and they are not willing to go back to their country of origin.

Racism and abuse has gone unpunished to an extent that many people now think that it is normal. It should be quickly noted that not all African groups experience the challenges above, many are very successful and are able to achieve great things.

There are many who hold very important position in academia, various industries, and in politics who can certainly help Africa in various aspect of its growth.

In 2023 the Mayor of Corby was Zimbabwean Councillor Chikoto. In Haringey, London the mayor was Zimbabwean and several Zimbabweans are councillors and members of parliament are from minority countries.

This is caped by the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who is of Indian origin. Historically, African diaspora’s contribution to decolonisation the African continent is an established and an acknowledged fact. Despite the abuses Africans face in the UK African diaspora has more to contribute to lift the continent out of the wood of poverty and underdevelopment the same way that Jewish diaspora lifted the State of Israel from a rural desert land to a first world country that competes with the best of the Western countries.

The social relations of people of Zimbabwe in the United Kingdom has been affected by the development of two competing discourses-one of ’diaspora’ and the other of financial glory.

To dialectic between these two ways of thinking about the fate and future of Zimbabweans abroad we look at how they are being retreated now. Diaspora offers us a historical account of disruption that focuses simultaneously on origins and dispersals, at the same time as it produces a political account of the value of the idea of a political community emphatically not set in a nation.

Race became a product of the diaspora in that it united a people by imagining a continental provenance that had hitherto been an unimagined community. “To err is human, to forgive, is African” (Soyinka).

Zimbabweans who are flooding the diasporic arena now bear the scars of abuse in most cases it is because of their skin.

The working conditions these people endure is straight from the comic book. When they get a job they are treated differently from their white counterparts.

There are new categories of racism. People are now classified and divided into different classes. The treatment suggests that the upper classes the indigenous white people followed by Asians then the Black Jamaicans followed by Black Africans who have stayed long in the UK anchoring the table will be the Zimbabweans who have just come in the UK.

Anything which goes wrong is blamed on the new comer.

One Zimbabwean was clearly told that he is not allowed to park his car in the staff car park because he was not considered staff.

As we examine two discourses, two ways of thinking and talking about social relations in the wake of a rupture or breach of human rights caused by the flooding of Zimbabweans into England we realise that racism gives birth to xenophobia.

These two discourses are relatively recent. People, of course, have been dispersed and thinking about the relationship of their dispersal to an original or mythical homeland for millennia, and humans have been apologizing for the crimes of one people against another for just as long.

It is not enough that people have to suffer now and get an op decades later.

The treatment of our people in foreign lands shows how carefree is the society we leave in now.

It becomes so fashionable to be racially abused now only to receive an apology, decades to come while you are tucked in your blankets.

Because the UK white society has been overwhelmed by the influx of Zimbabweans in the UK the respect for Zimbabweans has diminished.

Regardless of the fact that the world has learnt lessons from the past abuses nothing on the ground has changed.

Racism still is the order of the day. The police are likely to stop a black man on the motorway for being black than they could stop a robber.

The qualifications of being abused is simply being black and new.

Everything done by a Zimbabwean, no matter how good, is not complimented.

Racism seems to have been given new power by the influx of Zimbabweans in the UK.

What Zimbabweans suffer now is a simple racism and total abuse.

It is a dire situation.

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