By Chenayi Mutambasere
So after a thousand trips around the world and double that number in fake Herald headlines the world has sent a clear message ‘Zimbabwe Isn’t Open For Business’.
Has it turns out the world needs more than brightly coloured scarfs to part with their money. Even the cereals for breakfast Uxbridge Prof has failed to convince any of his alumni to leave their wallets in Harare.
In fact it is now a proven fact (for those that thought ‘it would work’) that you can’t lobby the sanctions away. We all laughed out loud when we learnt the government were hiring a PR agency to lobby the sanctions away.
Sanctions have a causality relationship eg. Reduce corruption reduce sanction simples … The incumbent government however would rather money just dropped on their lap without making any real changes.
Feed me Seymour seems to be the underlying theme to their open for business mantra. Having exhausted all avenues they have now turned to their darling offspring – the diaspora child .
The zimbabwean diaspora is the government’s faithful bail out ticket. With circa 500,000 UK diaspora babies who will stretch themselves above and beyond to support struggling family left behind in Zimbabwe remit about $1.5billion every year.
It means at least for these fortunate relatives they live to afford their next prescription or term’s fees or weekly basic food shopping. Many would agree with me that remittances to Zimbabwe are seldom from a bottomless pit but from hard graft coupled with intensive saving strategies.
The government of Zimbabwe having exhausted all other doors have now packaged ‘opportunities’ to engage the diaspora. The same opportunities that those international investors with cash to trample on have shunned. As much as Zimbabwe must be rebuilt by Zimbabweans this will not be possible until the government puts in place the required political reforms.
Why must we settle for less when the rest of the world won’t? The government wants to wine and dine UK diaspora with opportunities as fake as their smiles. How do they see it fit to wine and dine us when our mothers are being needlessly beaten on the streets and left for dead?
How can we click our glasses with the perpetrators of corruption and poverty? How can we be merry with you knowing the government’s oppressive and dictatorial tendencies?
The diaspora is an enlightened force and strongly condemns any engagement by Zanu PF to seek or discuss investment. Such a thing will be tantamount to dancing with a crocodile.
The Zimbabwe UK diaspora strongly condemns these events and petitions others not to attend them thus sending a clear message : no political reform, no investment!!!
Chenayi Mutambasere (Msc Development Economics and Policy) is the MDC UK and Ireland Province Secretary for Industry and Commerce. You can follow her on Twitter: @ChenayiM