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Zim brain drain cause for concern

Zimbabwean passport

LATEST data from the United Kingdom (UK)’s Office of National Statistics tells us that for many years there has been a massive exodus from Zimbabwe of professionals headed for the UK.

We hear that between 2019 and September 2022, the number of Zimbabweans granted UK work visas shot up by a jaw-dropping 1 576% from 499 to 8 363 applicants.

In our view, while we indeed are happy for all those who have escaped the country’s excruciatingly suffocating socio-economic environment, we believe such a massive exodus should bang alarm bells for any government worth its salt.

Since the advent of the so-called new dispensation, ushered in by the supposed second republic of 2017, it comes somewhat as a shock that so many people, now numbering millions, are choosing to leave this very beautiful country that was once upon a time seen as the jewel of Africa, where many dreamt of migrating to.

If these numbers of emigrating Zimbabweans, who are literally fleeing the country, are not causing sleepless nights to the drivers of the new dispensation, then we request to be forgiven for losing faith that this country has bright prospects for the future.

This is a very serious indictment on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime, which, however, appears more eager to receive the remittances all these emigrants send back home than creating a conducive environment for them to remain here.

These are very sad moments in the life of a nation that is hoping to attain upper middle-income status within the next seven or so years. Zimbabwe can ill afford to lose so many experienced professionals, especially from the education and health sectors, because this will definitely set the country back in terms of its developmental aspirations.

Under the current circumstances, assertions by Mnangagwa and his government that the southern African nation’s economy is growing and attracting huge investments are increasingly becoming hollow.

Even the much-touted mantra: Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo (a nation is built by its own people) sounds very empty when the very people who are supposed to build nation Zimbabwe are fleeing in droves simply because what they are earning back home is nowhere near enough to feed their families.

As some have since pointed out, there is absolutely no reason for one to leave their own country if the socio-economic and political environment is conducive to decent survival.

There is no individual who is delighted to build another person’s home, while theirs is crumbling, unless they no longer have a strong attachment to it.

As some of us see it, it is about time those currently leading nation Zimbabwe paused for a moment to introspect. Something must be wrong with the way they are running this country because the nation cannot afford to continue losing its builders at this breakneck speed.

Zimbabwe is a developing nation and needs all the hands of its skilled nationals on deck in order for it to entertain any hopes of attaining any status, let alone upper middle-income.

The country’s present trajectory does not bode well for development and the powers-that-be need to take heed.

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