Zim not sweet home – really?

17 Feb, 2018 - 00:02 0 Views
Zim not sweet home – really? President Mnangagwa

The Herald

Stephen Mpofu Correspondent
“East, West, North, South and there Zimbabwe is home sweet home.”  Homesick Zimbabweans – any patriotic Zimbabweans out there in the global Diaspora – are wont longingly to declare. But not so the negative rhetoric fighters a far cry from the AK47-totting gallant sons and daughters of the soil, who defied the gauntlet of mosquitoes and snakes in the bushes of foreign lands as they blitzkrieged their way against the enemy and finally wrested power from a foreign ruling culture in 1980 to bring home to all and sundry the Uhuru that at long last made Zimbabweans walk tall in the global village.

Included in the Zim-not-sweet-home bracket are 2 500 Zimbabweans marooned in this country’s former colonial power, Britain, and who are about to be deported from the UK on account of their improper refugee or immigrant status, or so those representing them appear to suggest rhetorically.

Three days ago, the Voice of America’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, hosted a discussion on Britain’s decision to send home the 2 500 Zimbabweans, who left the country in recent years, apparently because of their opposition to the former Government of President Robert Mugabe, who resigned in November last year at the onset of a new dispensation that saw the then former Vice President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, ascending to the Presidency in a whirlwind transition of power engineered by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

One of the people opposing the impending deportation of the Zimbabweans from Britain, Dr Nkululeko Sibanda, spoke fiercely by phone from exile in Britain in the VOA discussion against the expulsions, declaring that conditions back home were not yet favourable enough for the return and resettlement of the 2 500 potential deportees.

He said he and others fighting for the Zimbabweans to remain in the United Kingdom will do everything in their power to prevent the deportations by resorting to legal measures to block the expulsion of the exiles with demonstrations against any airline laid on to ferry the deportees back to their native country.

He even spoke of the possibility of some of those targeted for deportation falling sick or even committing suicide so they would not be possibly thrown back home.
Dr Sibanda and other Zimbabweans who joined the discussion by phone from South Africa, as well as the United States itself and Britain, all claimed that nothing had changed in Zimbabwe for anyone currently living abroad to return here and expect to live a good life.

Those in Britain admitted that they relied on social media reports for updates on the political and economic developments back home in Zimbabwe.

Of course, it is common knowledge that the political enemies of the zanu-pf Government, post and present – and these include those from home-based opposition political parties – have repeatedly posted negative reports on the economic and political goings on in the country to try to pillory those in power and in that way hopefully pull the rug from underneath their feet.
Those who fled the country in apparent protest at the zanu-pf Government’s policies, including what they termed “human rights abuses”, are obviously gullible to the social media campaigns against the ruling zanu-pf, even against the present Government under Cde Mnangagwa because they say “it is still zanu-pf in power” after all.

Moreover, Zimbabweans who flocked to “mother Britain” wailing and holding their heads in their hands found comfort in the hostility of the British and American governments against the Zimbabwean Government and must have clearly wished and hoped that the zanu-pf Government would not weather the hostile political weather, including the illegal economic sanctions buffeting it from the West.

But, and like the weather, political situations are bound to change with time.
Which is what is happening today in a new Zimbabwe, whose courtship with the international community appears to be succeeding against the expectations of this country’s enemies – local and foreign – with a charm offensive by President Mnangagwa causing a stampede for investment by foreign countries with obvious guarantees of the thawing of any frosty relations with many erstwhile unfriendly countries and at daggers-drawn with our country.

Common sense would suggest that Zimbabweans hibernating in foreign lands would, spurred by authentic information from relatives back home, make a stampede to join fellow Zimbabweans making good a new political and economic transition.
And to a bold new future for all regardless of political differences in a democracy that is accommodating to divergent ideas, as that is what makes for any healthy nation.

But no, the Diasporans, including those across the Limpopo in South Africa, who must obviously keep their fingers on the political and economic pulse of Zimbabwe and so should be aware of exciting times ahead – appear from their comments on the outcome of the forthcoming harmonised elections in the next few months to hope that a new, non-zanu-pf Government will be in place at the end of the polls so that they can return to the motherland posting ear-to-ear smiles.

But – who knows – they might have to wait ad infitum if the turbulent political waters on the other side of the political divide do not stabilise before the elections for a new figure commanding the love of a majority electorate to emerge before the polls.
By their remarks, the critics posit in Britain’s re-engagement with Zimbabwe, a contemporary imperialism bound to result in a rider-and-horse relationship akin to colonialism.

This pen suffices to say that such disparaging remarks by the Zimbabweans holed up in exile against their host country are nothing but sour grapes with no merit whatsoever as any new amicable relations between Zimbabwe and Britain, and with any other country for that matter, are wont to be mutual in whichever way one looks at.

Clearly, Zimbabweans who are digging in their heels in exile and so remain blind to the exciting transition unfolding in our beloved motherland, are political sluggards incapable of catching the early and fat worm and will only have themselves to blame when they finally return home to settle for the whey after others have scooped up all the cream and are belching with contentment politically and economically.

Home sweet home beckons to them to join rank and file fellow citizens in the making of a new Zimbabwe.
“Tempus fugit” they say in Latin.
Indeed, time flies and does not wait for slow coaches and so those who have ears will only kick themselves when they finally arrive at the new station to discover that the new train of transition has long departed.

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