VP Chiwenga rallies diasporans
Dubai (New Ziana) – Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Rtd) on Monday assured Zimbabweans living and working abroad of government’s commitment to avail opportunities and policies that encourage their participation in the country’s socio-economic development agenda.
He said this during a highly subscribed open engagement with Zimbabwean professionals working in the United Arab Emirates in various sectors including construction, logistics, finance and the hospitality industry.
Vice President Chiwenga, who is in Dubai to attend the 6th Global Business Forum Africa to be held on the sidelines of the ongoing Expo2020-Dubai, said efforts to revive Zimbabwe’s economy to attain an upper middle income economy by 2030 required all hands on deck.
“It has always been the intention of the Second Republic to take advantage of visits by high level government officials to organise meetings with nationals in the diaspora for mutual briefing and exchange of ideas. The sixth Global Business Forum Africa which will run from 13-14 October has thus presented one such opportunity,” he said.
“Government is happy that its nationals in the diaspora have demonstrated keen interest to maintain links with their hometowns, provinces and districts. The maintenance of such ties with your country of origin should enable you, nationals in the diaspora to contribute to and positively impact the development agenda of your beloved country,” he said.
Vice President Chiwenga said various initiatives including the review of the diaspora policy were being pursued by government to ensure their active participation in the local economy.
While lauding the current support rendered by the diaspora community through remittances, he encouraged further participation in other areas including investing in mining, manufacturing and agriculture.
“What is more important at the present moment is to construct and build our country, to put food on the table, to make sure people are healthy and to make sure people have got jobs. That is what the Second Republic wants to achieve, to build a beautiful Zimbabwe. Let us all come together and build our country, together we will do it, together we will be proud people.
“Never again will we lag behind, we must march as fast as we can just like any other nation. Our diaspora policy is now being updated and your input as the people targeted to benefit from the policy through our embassies and the diaspora associations is essential. Our approach is inclusive and we highly value your suggestions on how as a country we can transform our economic fortunes,” he said.
“It is, therefore, none but ourselves who will collectively take Zimbabwe to greater heights through hard work, resourcefulness, and ingenuity, brick upon brick, stone upon stone until we get there.”
The Vice President also assured diasporans that challenges they have been facing including securing identity documents, particularly passports would soon be a thing of the past.
“We expect that by January 2022, we would have cleared the backlog of all the identity documents,” he said.
Addressing the same gathering, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the UAE, Lovemore Mazemo pledged the embassy’s commitment to serve and work with the Zimbabwean community in the UAE.
“The embassy is fully committed to ensuring that the Zimbabwe diaspora in the UAE participates in the socio-economic development of their country. We fully recognise the muscle that the diaspora wields,” he said.
“We also believe that the diaspora community is an important player in Zimbabwe’s engagement and re-engagement efforts with the rest of the international community. So we encourage the Zimbabwean community to contribute in the best ways possible to strengthen bilateral ties between our country Zimbabwe and this country where we are.”
A representative of the Zimbabwe-UAE diaspora community also pledged their support for the economic recovery efforts being pursued at home.
“Honourable Vice President, as a community we assure you that we love our country, we will try by all means to engage with all government offices, be ready to open doors to us because we are going to knock. We are your sons and daughters and we need you.”