DIASPORANS CAN LIFT ECONOMY :CZI | Confederation of Zimbabwean Industries (CZI) president, Busisa Moyo,has urged the government to craft a comprehensive Diaspora policy and improve relations with its citizens in the Diaspora to entice them to invest back home.

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Addressing stakeholders at a rebranding workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in Bulawayo on Wednesday, Moyo said the future of the country lies in “leveraging our largest province, the Diaspora, to invest or lead investment as opposed to consumption”.

“I have been on many (investment) missions and the Diaspora community is our biggest impediment. We arrived in Washington, this other time, and another Zimbabwean had already been there telling potential investors to forget about Zimbabwe since it is a basket case,” he said.

“We are fighting against each other. They will end up asking us why we can’t have a meeting in Zimbabwe and sort our differences.”Moyo said Zimbabweans working in most South African hotels work under inhumane conditions.

“It is time that, as a government, we package our skill and send our young people out, government to government, so that they work with dignity. They can then come back home and bring the skills that they would have earned there.”

Principal director in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mary Mubi, told the meeting that the country had a functional Diaspora policy.“We now have a Diaspora policy, which has been taken around a few countries,” she said. “I am of the view that, like countries such as Eritrea, we should, around Christmas time, have an occasion where we invite Diasporans so that they get to learn about new policies that the government has, so that they can go out and be ambassadors, and to innovate around it.

“The issue of the Diaspora is one that is being taken seriously. The policy is under the Economic Planning ministry. There has also been talk about trying to get the Diaspora to sit on boards because they know what they are doing.”Speaking at the same event, Botswana-based Zimbabwean businessman, Arnold Moyo said the government needed to improve its relations with its citizens in the Diaspora.

“There is a perception here that all people in the Diaspora are there for political reasons,” he said. “Some of us are there for economic reasons. When we go to the embassy in Gaborone, Botswana, we can’t talk to the staff there, as they shut us out.”

Bulawayo-based artist and civil society activist, Cont Mhlanga said Zimbabwe was suffering from “an overdose of political branding”, at the expense of commerce, culture and other faces of the nation.

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