Statement by Zimbabwe Civil Society Groups to the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Zimbabweans living in Britain warmly welcome the arrival of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and hope that his first visit to London will mark the beginning of formal engagement with the Inclusive Government’s Diaspora constituency, who hope to contribute to the reconstruction and development of our home country.
We hope that the Prime Minister will:
1) Acknowledge that Zimbabweans abroad have contributed to the economy at home through ideas, investment, remittances, school fees and charitable contributions of resources to families, community groups and institutions in Zimbabwe.
2) Acknowledge the strong desire of the Zimbabwean community in Britain to engage with the Inclusive Government and formally and directly meet with representatives of the Prime Minister’s office to discuss ways in which the Diaspora can contribute to the reconstruction and development of Zimbabwe.
3) Acknowledge and celebrate the contribution that Zimbabweans in Britain have made to the British economy and society, through professional contributions in all fields, and especially within the health and education sectors.
4) Advocate to the British government to support those who have been de-skilled during their time in Britain and give them the opportunity to re-skill before they return, in order to fulfil their ambition to contribute positively to a peaceful, stable and prosperous future in Zimbabwe.
5) Encourage the British government to work with the Zimbabwean Diaspora community on an ambitious programme towards the long-term development and reconstruction of Zimbabwe through skills sharing, capacity building and re-skilling.
6) Encourage the British government to engage broadly with Zimbabweans in Britain in the design and implementation of its development programmes in Zimbabwe.
The Diaspora community, represented by the Civil Society organizations listed below, would like to
1) Express our deepest sympathy to Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his family on the tragic loss of his wife Susan Nyaradzo, and pray that memories of her rich life will strengthen and inspire Zimbabwe in the years ahead.
2) Commend and encourage the efforts of those of our leaders who are seeking genuine and lasting people-driven solutions to the challenges facing Zimbabwe.
3) Express our concern for and solidarity with our sisters and brothers within Zimbabwe, and pledge our support for the restoration of human rights and dignity to Zimbabwean citizens at home and abroad.
4) Express our desire to participate in the constitutional reform process as a step towards the building of a new, stable, prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe in which our collective aspirations as a nation are realized.
5) Express our desire to engage with processes of healing and hope that the Prime Minister will acknowledge the commitment of Zimbabwean organizations in Britain to the common objective of community reconciliation and national development.
This statement is made with the agreement of:
The Zimbabwe Diaspora Development Interface (ZDDI), Zimbabwe Women’s Network, Zimbabwe Community Association, Zimbabwe Community Group, Zimbabwe Action Group, Zimbabwe Catholic Community in England and Wales (ZCCIE), Nottingham Zimbabwe Community Association, Rebuild Zimbabwe UK Association, KuMusha/Ekhaya Zimbabwe Community Group in Manchester, The Urban and Peri-Urban Research Network (Peri-NET), Zimbabwe Internship Scheme, WeZimbabwe, Zimbabwe Development Support Association in Wales, and the Zimbabwe Association.