Education Specialist Dominic Muntanga has said that there is no trust between the government and the diaspora during the Diaspora Policy Action Plan workshop that is currently taking place at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare today.
The Diaspora Action Plan, that was also attended by members of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union, will serve as a framework for engaging with the Zimbabweans in the diaspora.
“Sometimes you hear the government saying Diasporas are people who ran away from Zimbabwe, let them stay there” said Muntanga.
According to Reuters news network, rights and migration groups put the number of Zimbabwean in the diaspora at anywhere between two and 3,5 million.
However, Lily Sanga, the Chief of Mission International Organisation for Migration (IOM) who was also at the two-day workshop, said that Zimbabwe has made some efforts to engage the diaspora for development.
“Worth of note is the drafting of a diaspora policy and setting up of a Diaspora Directorate at the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion with an objective of facilitating the process fo diaspora engagement,” Sanga said.
“A government strategy would require identifying goals, mapping out the Zimbabwean diaspora communities wherever they may be, building relationships and trust between the diaspora and the government and ultimately mobilising the diaspora to contribute to sustainable development”.
Last year diaspora remittance was the second largest source of liquidity in the country after exports, reaching US$830 million in the first half of 2016 according to the Zimbabwe Independence.
Many African countries have rolled out programmes for mobilising the diaspora and these programs include designing large hectares of land for diaspora investment, duty-free regimes for movement of equipment from abroad, knowledge transfer programmes, out of country voting among others.
Zimbabwe is yet to implement some of these programs like the out of country voting and this has led to diasporans in United Kindom to demonstrate according to The Zimbabwean, a local newspaper.