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Call for Diaspora Minister and MPs

19/01/2018 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
 
Davos bound ... President Emmerson Mnangagwa
 
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With reports saying there are more than 3 million Zimbabweans living abroad a call has been made for Zimbabweans with a significant presence in particular countries to elect their own Members of Parliament.

This should also be followed by the appointment of a Minister in charge of Diaspora affairs specifically mandated to lead on policies and programmes aimed at harnessing diaspora skills and resources.

Presenting the Diaspora Community wish list to President Emmerson Mnangagwa Thursday at the Zimbabwe Business Club Davos preparatory meeting held at a local hotel in Harare, UK-based businessman Jeff Madzingo said Zimbabwe is probably the country with the highest number of “ambassadors out there” and the government needs to take advantage of the diasporans where ever they are.

“You can live in any country and you cannot really feel that you belong there; I think as a nation we need to really look at where we are coming from and create some rallying point on what we want to achieve as a nation,” said Madzingo.

He added, “And I think as a nation we are coming from a very catastrophic phase. And from the catastrophic phase, I can think of how many people we have lost going into the diaspora in terms of investment as a country and in terms of capacities and skills.”

Time for change ... Businessman Jeff Madzingo (on the phone) with colleagues

“I can think of how many people who have died because of the economic collapse of the country in the last few years, and those who have died should not have died in vain.”

Madzingo went on to say that in as much as Zimbabweans left for various reasons it was time to look at the positives of the displacements.

“Let’s look at the positives, but that can only happen if we create a system where the Diasporans do not feel disfranchised,” he said.

He added, “We demand that the new government must create an environment where we feel recognised and these can be done through what I call a Diaspora Engagement Week…… to celebrate diaspora talent and to recognise diaspora skills and resources with the view of leveraging them for home country development and to create platforms for local business to exhibit and engage with the diaspora capital.”



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“Among other things that need to be looked at as a matter of urgency is the issue of dual citizenship.”

Madzingo said government should openly allow dual citizenship saying all diaspora Zimbabweans should be given dual citizenship by means of passports or special Identification (ID) cards.  

He also said if Diasporans were allowed to vote this would ensure that their specific interests are represented.

“We talk about issues of ease to do business; I think we should think of the ease to be Zimbabwean.”

“So we must have our own Members of Parliament and a Minister representing our interests.”  

 


 
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