In June 1997 President Robert Mugabe was in New York for a United Nations meeting and Zimbabweans were asked to meet with him. He eloquently praised our courage to leave Zimbabwe and endure the gruelling cultural adjustments, but encouraged us to get an education and “come back home”. Most of us have, but now it seems the doors are shut.
How do we come home when no one seems to desire our expertise? How does Zimbabwe get back on its feet if the brain drain is not reversed? Is the situation on the ground that bad that no employer will afford us the opportunity to try to implement the know-how that has advanced other nations? Why is there a culture of negativity towards diasporans?
There are many questions that remain unanswered for many of us in the diaspora. When we emigrated, we met a lot of resistance in the host countries as far as terms of employment went. Departments of labour in the host nations first made sure there were no local people qualified to do whatever job we applied for. Many of us have settled for lower paying jobs outside our areas of expertise so that we could go to college, but the effort seems to have been a waste of time.
I challenge the Zimbabwean government, private sector, NGOs and embassies to take a closer look at those asking to return home and please embrace us.
We are homesick and we can help move the country ahead. Most of us are very patriotic people who left families back home with the promise of coming back one day. We need jobs, we are qualified, please hire us.