Diaspora Reengagement efforts in Zimbabwe


Discussion on migration focuses on the movement of the ethnic majorities in nations. While studies on migration of minorities will bring forth great insight to the cultural, social and political dynamics of these countries. Future migration studies that include insight into minority groups will aid efforts on dynamic awareness, reengagement and return of migrant. Universal efforts of engagement through proactive transformation of institutional structures, good governance, communication and diversity management of racial, cultural, economic and political groups.


Migration, re – engagement, growth, development, interracial, economic migration, politics,

1. Introduction

This write up has been motivated by the recognition of the potential resurgence of

Zimbabwean infrastructure development, industry and social service sector through the utilising of the Zimbabwean diaspora skills. The Diaspora are seen as social entities that keep an interest in the country they left through political and economic action, or in the case of Zimbabwe simply Zimbabweans that no longer live in Zimbabwe. (Zimbabwe: Migration and Brain Drain Pieter Frederik Janse van Vuuren, University of Stellenbosch, 2012). On 28 September 2015 during the unveiling of Zimbabwe’s national diaspora policy; Mr Phillip Chabata (Drug International Limited Representative Africa), one of the participants from the diaspora community; said that there must be trust between the government and Zimbabweans in the diaspora for the country to reap full benefits of remittances

(www.bulowayo24new.com). Despite the general focus on remittances, they form only a part of the potential diaspora relationship. The emphasis that Roundtable Session 2.2 of the Athens Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), 2009, focused on the return and reintegration, recognizes the fact that migrants do not just send remittances home to support households. They often plan to use their skills, accumulated funds, and networks for their own future economic activity in their home country thus require the policies and practices that promote the successful reintegration of workers when they return to their countries of origin (Migrant Return and Reintegration Policy: A Key Component of Migration Governance; Kathleen Newland; © 2017 International Organization for Migration (IOM))

2. Background

The African Union in its Draft Migration policy discussed in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in 2017 stated “One must keep in mind that despite all challenges or benefits of Migration realities in Africa& Globally migration is inevitable”.  Hence the issue of the diaspora will continue to haunt or soothe nations by their management of migration relations through interaction, policy and implementation. 31 million African are migrants around the world, 1in 3 in sub Saharan African desire to migrate while in Sierra Leone of all citizens over 15yrs, 52% seek to migrate, and DRC its 46% seek to move out. Despite these numbers in play migration rarely thought of as an opportunity www.nepad.org/content/migration-opportunity-africa Zimbabwe is estimated to have between 3-4 million in the diaspora through the great exodus that occurred from 1999.  Table 1: The five Phases of Migration 

Zimbabwe’s five phases of migration 1960 – Present
1960-1979 Migration of Political exiles.

Labour to South






Botswana, Britain and South Africa

1972-1989 flight of white


142000 South Africa,

Britain, Australia,

Canada and New


1982-1987 Ndebele migration 5000 Botswana, South Africa and Britain
1990-1998 migration of skilled professional 200000 South Africa,

Britain, Botswana,

Australia, and New


1999-presnt                 the great exodus      2-4 million South Africa,

Britain, Canada,


Australia, and New


Note that the size is based on analytical estimation, the population in Zimbabwe at this time is 13 million.

In the state of the new dawn many Zimbabweans in the diaspora observe the nation with renewed interest. As many of them were not received warmly in the countries they left for. Hence some migrant returned to Zimbabwe, while others long for home fearful for personal circumstances to return. Through this endeavour of interacting with the diaspora we hope to ensure those in the diaspora are not lost to Zimbabwe but will return with their higher levels of education and experience permanently or temporarily. While to focus of the re-integration scheme is on skilled diaspora. However for the sake of social balance and national harmony all the diaspora must be connected with. Without acceptance of the ‘least’ in the diaspora this endeavour is set to fail as have previous attempts to register diaspora; by being perceived as elitist, aimed at abuse and centred on a socio economic relationship. Without acknowledging the more intimate unifiers of culture, history and hope. The Indian diaspora structures connects to citizens who are 4th generation descendants of original migrants’ i.e. South African Indian community in place from 1890. The development of a renewed national identity that encapsulates all citizens is a challenge that faces Zimbabwe today.  The Zimbabwean situation is unique in recent history, other countries; which had mass migrations that can be evaluated are Ireland in the 1800 and Philippines in the 1970s’. The Philippines continues to experience a high emigration rates, which it has managed to utilise with a well-established infrastructure for migration management. The country focuses on cyclical migration models for national development. The management of migration in Philippines, offers reintegration support for all returning overseas workers. (Cf. for example National Reintegration Centre for OFWs, 2016. Accessed on November 21, 2016: http://nrco.omdsinc.com/)

According to the African Union, the statistical reality is 80% Africans migrate within the continent while only 15-20% go to Europe (NEPAD; AU; UN) Africa’s engagement with its diaspora is lacking and given Africa’s relatively low human capital levels the ability to attract skilled migrants and by extension the diaspora should be an important point for governments to focus on though it is often under emphasised (Kapur, 2001: 281). The “Return of Qualified African Nationals Programme’’, run by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), facilitated the return of 1857 qualified nationals to Africa between 1983 and 1999 and resulted in the development of the Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) (Kapur, 2001: 281; International Organisation for Migration, n.d.). To add to the discussion the governments of many countries of destination today want to encourage return migration, particularly of unauthorized migrants, failed asylum seekers, people whose visas have expired, or those whose period of temporary protection has come to an end—in other words, migrants who do not have legal permission to remain. Some governments, such as that of the United Kingdom, have also articulated a desire to have lower “net migration,” which implies lower immigration, higher rates of return, or some combination of the two. From 2003-13 3.7 million people were deported from the United States; the figure is set to rise under the

Trump administration. Even with valid immigration papers or change of citizenship migrant families are at risk of the social tension created by politicians and nationalists in host countries.

3. National Politics

As repeatedly stated by the Zimbabwean government and its leadership. The nation under the new administration cannot successfully do all things alone without civic organisations, private companies and private citizen support. The call for social responsibility by all stakeholders is to ensure that the nation prosperous.

That by the dignity of handwork; liberties are defended and the socio economy sectors is developed. To attain development the project affirms the following:

  • Having reversed indigenisation to encourage direct foreign investment, assurance of employment of nationals is key
  • Consider pool of diaspora skills as national top level and middle level skilled human resource. As skilled human resource, most technical areas are currently under skilled
  • Need for technological advancement in all sectors, importation of computerised machinery, use of advanced methodology.
  • Anti-corruption drive in all sectors of the economy (government& private)
  • Development driven by national passion-patriotism and a global mind-set
  • Structured platform for interaction between the diverse diaspora population and government

Aims of the project

The project seeks to collect data on Zimbabwe’s migrant population. The data will enable:

  • Demographic mapping,
  • Confirm current legal migration standing of individuals
  • And identify the skills level of the Zimbabwean diaspora in the world.
  • Market the nation and its pivotal turn around season

Through the task, projections of diaspora skills demography can be arranged according to:

  • industry,
  • educational level and work experience

This will assist stakeholder’s including government, industry and professional networks in the development of the nation. Lack of economic growth results in increased competition and social segmentation over resources. Hence development is key in attaining social harmony, progress and individual satisfaction of citizens. The ability of accessing diaspora skills and network can provide impetuous in development when adequate data is available. Policy makers make informed decisions, thus ensuring improved implementation management. The general lack of migration data by all nations tends to hinder:

  • Hinder negations with investors
  • Limit planning by Government and private industry
  • Misdirected funding
  • Social harmony
  • Investors require skilled labour to successfully implemented projects. The lack of skilled human resource in the developing world, results in high expatriate employment in top level and technical skills positions. This reduces internal human development in the nations, as it’s sacrificed for a focus on economic growth.
  • The return of skills from the diaspora would assist the nation as locals receive high level jobs and in turn train locals with minimal investment in training. This combined development of local skills and economic growth by local through foreign direct investment results in long-term development of the nation.
  • The local Industry may be hindered in its capacity to plan for growth due to lack of skills and the cost of mass training in foreign countries. Thus industries plans and financial investment in conjunction with the provision of human capital skilled and available has the capacity to propel economic development.
  • Government arms are able to plan having identified individuals and groups with skills available to return, provide voluntary or premium training.
  • Saving of funds directed to training for skills already available from the diaspora will result in savings to the specific sectors (industry and government). There is capacity use funds for social services of education, health and social services.
  • Alternatively funds may also be used to capacitate unskilled members of the diaspora. These will add value to their community though limited in comparison to their compatriots the unskilled diaspora has had personal development in global awareness and at times undocumented skills which requires professional assessment.
  • Social harmony is key to development and economic and reinforcing social stability can only be beneficial to the nation. The return of skilled members is seen as value addition.

The project aims to:

  • Register Zimbabwean diaspora to add to national statistics source and create a platform for relation regardless of current national status. This allows initial contact with the diaspora as valued under the new administration. Counting every Zimbabwean and putting every Zimbabwean first.

o Name, age, sex, nationality, contact, occupation

  • The follow-up will then approach skilled diaspora to submit their information through an application process. The data can then be used to ensure that investors and corporates do not appoint the expatriate workers before utilising Zimbabwean labour including diaspora skills o Categorise the diaspora skills: skills level, skills group, industry, education level willingness to return, willingness to volunteer, time frame of return, professional certification and employment history verification.
  • create new open relationship with diaspora in new dispensation,
  • create less structured platform for information gathering by stakeholders

(Government, church, civil organisation, international partners)

The areas appointed for volunteering will be determined by requirement of skill by policy planners in government, private sector, civic sponsors and the capacity of volunteers to self-sponsor

In reference to current structures

  • The current platforms have focused on attaining economic value network with business partners, skilled labour in the health sector, education and legal sectors.

There has been limited effort in attaining data for a broad range of skills in different industries. And there has been no determined attempt to focus on the illegal migrant who may be skilled or unskilled. The reality of the changing geopolitics will force all nations in the world, to review their migration management.

  • By ensuring the recognition, registration and defence of all its migrants in an empathetic manner and not in a patronising sympatric attitude Zimbabwe has the opportunity to set the tone of for future return of migrants and the capacity to acceptance in the community.
  • The call for countries of origins of migrant to take responsibility in the global migration platform. Will result in countries being divided into planned proactive strategist or emotive reactive victims. As future negotiation of development aid and diplomatic relations may also hinge on the manner of migration management, self-corrective action will result in international status and internal progress.

Table 2 – Diaspora skills return  options 

Long Term Skills Transfer                          • Reinterhgration of Citizen

  • Relocation of Family
  • Provides Training and service ti nation

Short Term Skills Transfer (premium)     Training of Locals

Providing of Service

Sorttem Skills Transfer                               Provide Training and services

Provide social Exchange ie 2nd generation Vacation skills transfer

1999-presnt                                                     the great exodus

Proposed by Pinnet Mercy Consultancy  Provide diaspora with information on potential job opportunities especially opportunities at middle and top management level as forwarded by government and the private sector.  • Assist government’s efforts of national development and negotiations with donors and investors through information provision on migrant’s skills.

  • assist future structure of migration bodies with reference data,
  • create a national culture that values legal migration and social obligation of skills transfer
  • Reduce migrant risks from human trafficking and illegal migration by connecting with all migrants in diaspora (Return Migration and Reintegration Policies: A primer Marianne Haase and Pia Honerath DECEMBER 2016)

3.1 Current Efforts by Government

The Government of Zimbabwe launched a National Diaspora Directorate on the 12 September 2016, to engage the diaspora in national development in line with national diaspora policy developed in 2015 with funding from the IOM directorate. This was so as to coordinate and facilitate the contributions of the Zimbabwean diaspora, including remittances, transferable skills, and networks are integral to the development of a modern knowledge based economy. The government aims to achieve this through coordinated information dissemination on investment opportunities, procedures and regulations. Directorate coordinate a diaspora database and integrated information system. The emphasis of government’s relationship with the diaspora appears to focus on attaining direct foreign investment.

IOM and government policy sets 8 point action: plan intra governmental diaspora relationship, institutional engagements, diaspora investment, remittances, national economic development, knowing the diaspora and diaspora rights; diaspora possess social, economic, intellectual and political capital.

  • Since 2006 when Dr Gono had endeavours to scout for foreign currency. The reason for failure according to the theperiscopereport.co.zw article were not addressed
  • In 2014 Chinamasa budget announces government’s position on formal relationship with diaspora
  • The 2015 draft diaspora policy is released, and is approved in June 2016,
  • Economic interest of government the national diaspora policy stems its roots from Zim-Asset and is founded on socio-economic terms.

Historic: Challenges that government faced

  • Problem it was perceived as mainly viewing the diaspora as economic value rather than human value. The diaspora did not feel valued or respected, thus didn’t trust and rejected efforts under the old administration theperiscopereport.co.zw/zimbabwe-national-diaspora -policy-doomed-unlessbugging-political-question-addressed
  • The government focused on remittances as potential foreign direct investment refusing all efforts of social conversation by the diaspora as antagonistic. The administration of Former President RG Mugabe refused to address in its policy; the political question of the diaspora of better governance, right to vote and general involvement in national dialogue.

4. Diaspora Organisation by 2014

Organisations in the Diaspora

  • Business ideas group (BIG) Diaspora network (United Kingdom) Mr Danai Gombera founder and chairman of big network group (also heads solar nation and Primeworth care in the UK) focus on fostering and promoting development of indigenous – owned enterprises in Zimbabwe members.


• Zimbabwe diaspora skills network ZDSN (United Kingdom) Dr Sylvester

Nyatsuro founded 2 may 2015 he runs weight loss clinic,  o www.diasporaskills.org not an active registration site  o Founder is accused of land grab and illegal activities resulting with challenges with the host nation.

  • Zimbabwe Diaspora Network of North America (ZDNNA) launched 2012 with very poor attendance. The launch was for residence in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. Director Pedzai Makumbe, Esau Mavindidze, coordinator Isaac Mwase. (voazimbabwe.com) o ZDNNA seeks to support capacity building, promote and participate in support and philanthropic programs, investment vehicle, think tank and be skills locator database

o Zimbabwe diaspora network north America raised $0 so far; fundraising poor www.crowdrise.com

Media: diaspora organisations and activists found online with limited details

  • ZDN-UK Dr Winston Mano, pastor Zeb Manatse ,
  • ZHTS Dr Kate Adams Ms Dorcas Gwata
  • ZDFG Zimbabwe diaspora focus group Lucia Dube
  • BZS Dr Pauline Dodgson Katiyo chair BZS;

Observation on Diaspora Networks

  • Website information is limited to request included: name, email, city (for

ZDNNA), topic, message:  contact message

  • No separation of registration and application forms
  • No presentation of resource data
  • No direct support from government or online relationship No provision of current membership or diaspora statistics

Diaspora initiatives

Activities in networking and skills development like:

  • Heath streak sporting academy for aspiring cricketers running. Grooming next generation national team players.
  • International lawyer’s organisation Network, founded on pool Zimbabwean diaspora lawyers network was inaugurated 13th January in Harare, Zimbabwe. Focus of group is investment, networking, providing access to Zimbabwean internationally to client and a forum into local investment. These efforts reveal

the passionate desire of the diaspora to contribute in the development of the nation 

International Office of Migration

  • Has encouraged the government to know its diaspora
  • assist in funding meetings between the Zimbabwe diaspora and development engagements
  • funds the Zimbabwe diaspora policy process
  • fund and assist government in the creation of the diaspora directorate o project is improved neutral platforms for dialogues and schemes through which Zimbabwean in diaspora contribute to decision making and national development

Demography of Zimbabweans in diaspora

The diaspora can be found in the following countries that include Canada, United

States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, Australia, New Zealand, Mozambique, Namibia and Malawi to name those with substantial population. Statistics by 2005. the information on Zimbabwean diaspora was taken from Pieter Frederik Janse van Vuuren, Demography of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora Zimbabwe: Migration and Brain Drain, University of Stellenbosch, March 2012

4. Stakeholders

The stakeholders in this project are wider reaching than the presentation will allow. The focus on the main players in whose failures and success will have a spillover effects. See Figures for institutional stakeholders and interlinking of Stakeholders



4.1 Diaspora Migrants

The diaspora is a sub group within the broader Zimbabwean society. It’s organised, united in times of grief and very independent in thought. Willing to sacrifice for greater good but very sensitive to being abused and any attitude of obligation from external players having attained their success individually against at times gruelling odds. It is paramount due to the unity of the diaspora and potential backlash due to preference. That registration must include all the migrants with an end game of attaining the core of the diaspora skills for national program. For consistency of policy of the renewal movement, public relations will cater for increased social connection and validation of the Zimbabwean citizenry. Failure of consistency will have potentially insurmountable harm to the nation in the internal psyche; international media and stakeholders.

The diaspora of Zimbabwean origin (skilled& unskilled) fall into the following groups:

  • Citizen with permanent residence
  • Citizen with short term renewable visa: student/ work permit
  • Former citizen with changed nationality
  • Illegal migrant/ irregular migrant with expired papers

Table 3: Suggested Flow of institutional priority,  influence and legal status and opportunity

Figure represents flow of accepting skills submission from Zimbabweans in legal statuses 

Local skills (resident Zimbabweans

Diaspora migrant (with permanent resident/work permit holder with

Diaspora migrant with changed nationality

Diaspora skills (Illegal migrant: overstayed visa/expired visa with

Designed by Pinnet Mercy Consultancy 2017

Return migration takes place along a spectrum from voluntary to involuntary movement, with at least six identifiable points. Return Spectrum: Solicited> Voluntary> Reluctant>Pressured>Obliged>Forced

Types of returning migrant

Involuntary return migrants: These are usually individuals with no legal residence status, whose economic and/or social integration failed, and who are deported back home. Many return migrants will have experienced marginalization in the destination countries due to their irregular status, and often face stigmatization and marginalization in their countries of origin after return.

  • Return migrants whose return is “voluntary but unavoidable”: This form of return might look voluntary, but is usually the inevitable consequence of failed migration and integration experiences in the host countries. Usually, these migrants’ residence status will expire in the foreseeable future or those who seek family reunification in the country of destination.
  • Voluntary return migrants: These migrants have an explicit intention to return, especially once they have reached their savings goals, or acquired skills, higher education or business networks in their host countries which they can transfer and apply back home. Their reintegration can stimulate business development or create jobs through investments. Nonetheless, an unfavourable business climate or government bureaucracy can pose reintegration challenges.
  • Second-generation “quasi-returnees”: Second (or third)-generation diaspora members who wish to invest in the home country of their parents or grandparents.

Some quasi-returnees lack skills such as knowledge of the local business culture or language, while others can be achieve relative success in providing specific forms of support and guidance, such as business plan development.

Character of Diaspora

  • Sensitive to: time management, public relation and manner of communication nonverbal and verbal
  • Patriotic desire to contribute in national development
  • Highly independent in thoughts and analysis
  • Passionate, sacrificial and hardworking
  • Unsympathetic to attempts of corruption Needs of diaspora 
  • Direction: what bureaucratic structure and processes to follow
  • Information: how to get on update developments and projects related to ones skill
  • Valued: being appreciated and enabled to rise to the top of ones profession in a conducive environment without racial and institutional glass ceilings

4.2 Government

It is only through the power, structure, authority and institutions of government that diaspora skills can be utilised for the development of the nation. All other players can only attempt to contribute in minimal terms. As government supports the diaspora through policy, economic and politically in the new dispensation that has opened the doors of trust, success is a high probability. As stated earlier, migration is now a major social issue on the global stage. Due to the geopolitical transformation on the issue of migration. It is important that the nation participates as a strategic proactive player on the global platform and not as a reactive defensive victim. Having the opportunity to start anew with international goodwill. The collection of migration data will benefit the nation’s standing in the long-term as a pragmatic global leader. The United Nations Office of the commissioner for human rights agrees that there are no universal definition of ‘good governance’ but lists key attributes whose meaning cannot be questioned

  • Transparency
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Participation
  • Responsiveness (to the needs of the people)

Resolution 2000/64 underscores the importance of good governance in sustainable development with that in mind the Zimbabwean renewal can be highly effective.  

National structures

The government has access to the internal institutional bodies that validate diaspora skills integration policy.

  • Parliamentary support; Members of parliament communicating to their constituency
  • Foreign embassy network ensures geographic proximity for relationship
  • Trained Labour attaché for communication and public relation with diaspora reduces bureaucracy
  • Ministries to coordinate skills requirement update for different fields and industries
  • Point of call for investors
  • Coordinator of civic society including chiefs, church leadership, and activist structures

4.3 Residents citizens

The Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe are key supporters of the endeavour. For social unity and harmony communication will ensure understanding and uproot segregation through assumptions.  This is in part ensured through media dissemination and assurance that primary options of opportunities is available to them. Through transparency skills allocation from diaspora is to meet a gap by Zimbabweans not in the geographic proximity.

4.4 International Bodies

Government membership to international bodies ensures international support through long standing relationship.

  • Regional bodies: African Union, SADC, COMESA
  • International bodies: United Nations,
  • International Investors first port of call

4.5 Host governments

Through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accessibility to foreign embassies the project can give assurance to members of the diaspora is not an attempt to affect their personal legal standing in those countries in a detrimental manner. But that this is an effort for relationship connection and assurance of protection of all Zimbabweans by as a demonstration that puts all Zimbabweans first a fact acknowledged by the projects initiation by private citizens whose hope is in the new beginning and the need to involve all citizenry to benefit in the national progress.

Communication with host countries can only be done by the government.

The UN Secretary-General’s first Special Representative for Migration, Peter Sutherland, in his 2017 Report,14 called on states ‘to start a dialogue among countries of origin, transit and destination on return practices and standards, with a view to establishing a common understanding and, ultimately, shared principles to govern cooperation on return and reintegration in all world regions.” This recommendation is echoed in the list of possible topics for the Global Compact on Migration set out in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, Annex II, “Toward a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.”15 It is a crucial first step to bring consistency, transparency and order to the return and reintegration of migrants (return and reintegration policy notes) (Migrant Return and Reintegration Policy: A Key Component of Migration Governance Kathleen Newland; © 2017 International Organization for Migration (IOM)). Dialogue between host and home countries needs to be based on mutual respect and acknowledgement of each partner’s interests and capacities. Finally, linking policies between both countries can contribute to sustainable return and reintegration policies: making sure that returnees are well-informed about labour market needs in their country of origin, and giving them the opportunity to prepare for economic reintegration need to take place prior to return. Reintegration therefore begins in the destination country. Return and reintegration policies can benefit enormously when the inherently transnational character of return and reintegration policies is taken into account. Howard Duncan, “Managing return migration for development,” KNOMAD Policy Brief 4, (Washington, 2016). Accessed on November 21,

2016: http://www.knomad.org/docs/Policy_Briefs/Policy%20Brief%204%20


4.6 Consultant

The consultants will contribute to the application of the information – based policies through public relations and facilitation of   skills reintegration. This however can only be attained through the support of the administration by a quasi-official appointment that will validate the relationship with government and provide assurance to all stakeholders who will be approached.

Policies that promote the voluntary return and reintegration of workers can be divided into three categories: information-based policies, economic incentivebased policies, and institution-based policies. Information-based policies focus on providing returning workers with information that can allow them to reintegrate more successfully into their communities. Knowledge of economic opportunities and programs available to help workers can create a better informed and more self-confident returning migrant workforce. For successful reintegration. It is also important to consider whether or not the worker is returning to his or country of origin as a successful expatriate worker or as a failed one. A successful experience would include working in a legally recognized position, being able to pay off debts that might have been acquired as a result of the migration process, and sending expected remittances home regularly.

Public relations

In its public relations role the project will:

  • Magnify the unity of Zimbabwean citizenry and their value to the new administration
  • Communicate public value of Zimbabwean migrant
  • Advertise the opportunity of diaspora skills in development
  • Utilising Diaspora networks through relationships
  • Interacting with diaspora social media grouping Facilitation
  • Increase wide ranging dialogue between diaspora skills groups and government
  • Provide access to visitation of institutions through volunteering services; thus providing a feel, before decisions is made to return
  • Facilitation of those willing to return
  • Enable diaspora to access government institutional systems and information while away
  • Enable ministries to plan temporary access and volunteering opportunities
  • Enable diaspora to make informed decision to reject or accept without judgement
  • Validate the value of all migrants legal or illegal through online data capture from wide field


  • Media and corporate public relations to unveil concept
  • An initial tour of diaspora hosting nation in a minor regional country would lay platform corrective address for a tour.
  • The tours of the host countries would be preferably done once off tour to reduce cost.
  • Increased cooperate events that focus on recognising Zimbabwean development in all spheres through competitive and communicative forms would assist the project.
  • As the nation looks forward a unique Independence Day celebration, the opportunity can be taken to encourage increased social media action that advertises unity, through different art forms from diaspora and locals.
  • Future fundraising for reintegration of migrants without capacity to return is suggested. Fundraising would cover skills development as seen by

Philippines migration body cooperation with Microsoft training for returning unskilled diaspora.


According to a 2003 study, approximately 490,000 skilled Zimbabweans had left the country (Chetsanga and Muchenje, 2003). This figure would have increased to more than 800,000 during the next five years (Tevera, 2008: 19). Due to the general lack of reliable data on emigration from Zimbabwe, such estimates have to be considered with caution Due to the general lack of reliable data on emigration from Zimbabwe, such estimates have to be considered with caution. The importance of the phenomenon, however, cannot be contested. The Draft National Migration

Management and Diaspora Policy recognizes that “for the past 10 years, Zimbabwe has been losing educated, skilled and experienced personnel at a rate faster than they can be replaced” (Republic of Zimbabwe, 2009a: 27).

Statistics are fundamental to correct, effective and efficient decisions that lead to successful development. Due to the limited data currently available of the skills of the Zimbabwean diaspora. Strategic headhunting to return skills by industry and government is limited by lack of information. Hence the proposal for this project to identify skills in the diaspora and connect it with government, will also include a general registration of all migrants. This is to enable uniformity in the communication of value of all Zimbabweans. The United Nations population division is one of the leading international actor in compiling global migration data especially migration stock data obtained in population census. The organ works in conjunction with the United Nations statistics division publisher of the United Nations yearbook on population statistics, but both are also limited as they depend on provision of data from countries may not have complete statistics.

  1. Welcome page: include Information on endeavour/ Linked sites/ List registration options

Once data has begun to be collected weekly updated reports of diaspora report incl. skills structure will be published on website; with availability of filter search: Information is divided into registration statistics, crisis, sector, level, location, and expected/ potential return periods

  1. Registration page
  2. Basic statics on registration: For initial registration will include
  • ID number/ passport number, skills, age, sex, education level, nationality, duration away and intent to return. On completing registration, reference number will be provided.

Table 4 : Format for Registration Forms

Registration form Response option
Zimbabwean ID Number Yes/no
Do you have a passport Yes / no if yes option to define Zimbabwean/ other
first name
-date of birth
marital status single/ married/divorced/ widowed
nationality Zimbabwean/ other
duration away
intention to return yes/ no
Contact details Email/ cell
Contact address State optional
Next of kin in Host nation Optional
Next of kin in Zimbabwe Optional
Dependents Registration number of parent/ guardian

Designed by Pinnet Mercy Consultancy 2017 It’s required that the project make participants aware: Registration of each minors by parents or guardians does not represent registration with attorney general’s office.  but it will assist the embassy in its communication with diaspora in host nations.

Table 4 : Format for Registration Forms persons in crisis  Self-registration: 

Registration form Repose option
Do you have a valid passport If no did you have birth certificate/ id before leaving Zimbabwe
Contact details Email/ cell
What is you support structure Friends/ church/ etc.
Do you enter the country with a  valid visa
Registration form Repose option
Has your visa expired If yes when and are you applying for new one
Do you have your id/copy of id in host country if no confirm contact person in Zimbabwe
Are you currently working Yes/no
If all your paperwork is up to date Option define crisis

Designed by Pinnet Mercy Consultancy 2017

Table 5 : Format for Registration Forms Crisis Application on behalf of another person’s: 

Registration form Repose option
Are you in Zimbabwe? Yes/ no
Contact details Email/ cell
What is your id/ passport number
What are your contact details Required
What is your relation to the individual your reporting for Option
Country the person is in? List
What is the crisis Option deceased/ critically ill/rejected visa/ deportation/ abuse by employers/ human trafficking victim/other
Contact details of person in crisis
Identity of next of kin in


Contact details of next of kin

Designed by Pinnet Mercy Consultancy 2017

Processes to be completed after initial registration

Will identify diaspora skills type and potential: Skills, industry, education level (these must be validation by professional bodies in host or Zimbabwean government or international recognised bodies before submission)

  • permanent return, temporary return, holiday student 2nd generation skill transfer, skills transfer, voluntary assistance/social responsibility, paid assistance,
  • time consideration period of return potential within 3month,

6month,1 year plus

Table 6 : Format for Registration Forms skills transfer

Application form for skills transfer
Registration number As provided after registration
Contact details Email/ cell Contact details
Work experience Up to 5 Upload reference  copy
Skills State max 3
Education option to name 3 Institutions Majors
Education level postgraduate
others option to define
Industry Pick one from selection
Intent to return as: Short-term Volunteer
Short-term Premium
Professional registration Profession Upload copy
Duration for short-term 2weeks+ Period available State dates
Notice period for permanent reintegration  3 months/ 6 months /1 year

Designed by Pinnet Mercy Consultancy 2017

Submission of skills, references and professional copies is for verification purposes only and does not represent registration with internal professional bodies. Registration of each minors by parents or guardians does not represent registration with attorney general’s office.

4.7 Validation by professional Bodies

For security processes and assurance of all stakeholders. All information on attained skill by diaspora when provided must be validated, through host countries and their professional bodies or be validated by embassies who will provide validation certificate. Only companies registered with the host country will be recognised as able to provide recommendation letter. Zimbabwean professional bodies through government would assist in ease of registration once submissions are made to them i.e. registration of doctors, lawyers, artisans. Cooperation between government, stakeholders and its foreign partners’ will assure this process is a success.

5. Financial matters

Financial Audits and Account management

Audits will be conducted quarterly to maintain transparency. ®MarianHill Zimbabwe, has confirmed willingness to audit as equity sponsor, once appointment is confirmed.

Equity sponsors: Provide adverting, on website, photo shots, meetings  Part of the sponsorship of the project will come from equity sponsors. These sponsors will have the opportunity to advertise on the website, place advertisements (banners, business cards etc.) in meetings local/ abroad and photo shots.  Equity sponsors will be provided with initial contact with the diaspora through information bourses distributed at events in host countries. Opportunity to sponsor may be taken up by enterprises from parastatals, public and private sectors.

Cooperate sponsorship

  • Payments by companies for placement of diaspora. Dependent of agreement with government

International funders

  • IOM, United Nations and other non-governmental partners
  • International think tanks
  • International companies

Government to government funding from host nation

  • Host nations can be approached by government for funding Direct Government funding
  • Direct funding for project by government


  • Interested individuals with capacity to sponsor above agreed minimum, form personal resources may be rewarded with certification/ photoshoots as memorabilia.


Implementation of the project is planned over a year. The implementation will require travel to host countries to reaffirm the authenticity of a private initiative supported by government. Once the project has received government appointment and patronage, the planned execution is as follows:

Table 7: Implementation Outline

1 months 2 month 3-6 moths 6-12 months
Website setup tour of nations continued interaction

with bod-


Tour of na-

tions to gain feedback

Introduction to



provide platform for questions assess current success rate

of submission

Assess registration of diaspora relationship w i t h g o v-


Instruction to host countries analyses feedback

with current ef-


Assess diaspora rela-

tionship with locals

Meeting with corporates start facilitation negotiation with diaspora Present eval-

u a t i o n o f


Meeting  with media internal

a n d           i n-


Start production of weekly reports

and monthly au-


H a n d o v e r project or close project
meeting with church leadership

Designed by Pinnet Mercy Consultancy 2017 6. Taget Countries 

For the focus of this project, the target countries will include United Arab Emirates, Canada, and United Kingdom& Republic of Ireland, Australia& New Zealand, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia thus covering the main continents of diaspora migration. The country selection are related to accessibility and network taking note of changes in trends and social information.

It is widely recognized that the main countries of destination of Zimbabwean emigration flows are the neighbouring countries of South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia (Kiwanuka and Monson, 2009). South Africa appears to be the principal destination country, followed by Botswana (Centre for Development Enterprise, 2008). The migration of Zimbabweans to South Africa has attracted much attention from both journalists and researchers. Despite the great variety of estimates, a range of statistical sources suggest that there is a maximum of 1.5 million Zimbabweans in South Africa, including regular and irregular migrants. On the contrary, very few studies have been conducted on migration in other Southern African countries, and no estimates are currently available in this regard (Chetsanga, C. J. and T. Muchenje, 2003). According to estimates from a

2003 study, as much as 80 per cent of the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists and therapists trained in Zimbabwe since 1980 had left the country, mainly to establish themselves in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, the United Kingdom and Australia (Chetsanga and Muchenje, 2003). According to other estimates, published in a study by IOM (2007a: 6), the emigration of doctors was “only” reaching 51 per cent and the main receiving countries were, in decreasing order, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Many of these professional are forced to work in unskilled positions after failing to reconcile their immigration status (see Table 20 Chetsanga, C. J. and T. Muchenje, 2003).

The proactive action of regaining diaspora skills to increase national revenue; in tandem with increased investors’ confidence and direct foreign investment will ensure the nation does not find itself unprepared to take on socio-economic challenges that may arise. Preparedness stops the nation from being taken by surprise with changing global event; i.e. when forced to accept diaspora migrants with limited skills as host countries return illegal and ill regular migrants. Under the Action Plan on return, the European Union has set up a Frontex Return Office that will enable the Agency to scale up its assistance to member states seeking to return illegal migrants. Through legislative proposals they seek to enable a swifter exchange of information on return decisions and facilitate enforcement across the whole Schengen area.  Funding will mainly come from the Asylum, Migration and

Integration Fund (AMIF). (www.effective_return_policy_en_migrant.pdf European Commission 2014-2022 project)

7. Institutional input

For successful implementation the projects initiative requires access to government capacity:

  • Access to embassy information on diaspora relations
  • appoint person to communicate and coordinate project with in case of questions
  • confirmation of ministries to relate to, to ensure capacity of diaspora to bring results
  • Interaction with Embassies to reach out to the diaspora to market concept
  • Government guarantee of removal of legal penalties on asylum seekers their return to the country as visitors or permanently
  • Security: they require government support and assurance to enable return.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the project seeks to provide information to the diaspora and increase intimacy and trust between government and the diaspora. Information-based policies focus on providing returning workers with information that can allow them to more successfully reintegrate into their community. Such information includes job and business opportunities, policies that could be used by workers to enhance their likelihood of success, organizations which workers can consult if they face problems or wish to explore new opportunities, and legal and regulatory issues that commonly face workers upon return to their home country. Zimbabwe also keeps track of residence permits and border control data as an additional means to measure migration. Data are collected at borders through an immigration control form and entered into data entry and exit books that are further processed and analysed by the Department of Immigration and Control and ZIMSTAT. Schachter (2009) described the limits of such data collection as follows: Use of administrative data for migration purposes in Zimbabwe is limited by lack of resources, a high number of informal border crossing points, the historical interrelation between people living on borders, and irregular migration. The manual system is impeded by lack of paper, lack of training for border control agents (who experience high turnover), human error, and data loss. It should also be noted that Zimbabwean diplomatic and consular posts are not properly involved in data collection on migration.

National diaspora directorate and Government Ministries

Working to compliment the efforts of the directorate through applying the information policy to the diaspora in a less formal setting. The project hopes to expedite the appointment of Zimbabwean skills in new and renewing industry.

  • The project seeks the capacity to update the diaspora on available and potential job opportunities from investors. This can be in a form of a link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the appropriate ministry.


This concept of patriotism while enjoying a holiday in its form would be unique to Zimbabwe. Its target would include second generation Diasporas, diaspora and foreign specialists in different fields and socially motivated foreigners who would like to participate in a historic turn around while enjoying the serene beauty of the country (Josephine Matambanadzo, 2018).

Table 8 : Options for volunteers

Designed by Pinnet Mercy Consultancy 2017

Professional Bodies

The main professional bodies (Health& Education) have already cooperated with government in the acceptance of diaspora skills. The registration of non-medical skills and assessment of these skills by the professional bodies is key for smooth transfer of transition skills. Zimbabwe does not have a centralised assessment institute of all skills and education e.g. SAQA in South Africa. Hence support of host countries and international bodies with local connection would be of great asset in:

  • Ease of registration
  • Ease of reconciliation of skill
  • Verification of skills and experience
  • Communication and fostering community with diaspora


Public relations is depended on the capacity to relate with ones audience in an ‘unprejudiced’ media. The power of communication is such that during the first gulf war under President Bush senior the Arab daily quoted an local proverb “A lie will have gone around the world, while the truth is still tying its shoes” to ensure that misinformation does not take reign. Transparency of position and purpose should be introduced to the media locally and internationally via print, radio, and television media. The support of the media will help the efforts through subliminal marketing and advertising to gain diaspora skills if communication is consistent and open.

  • Having received appointment confirmed by an introduction letter. There is ability to request access to diaspora through the media i.e. international media, radio, print, Facebook, connect via twitter and website
  • The use of media by the project directly or through governments communication via email or text on official government statements or embassy events connect with diaspora would also be an assets



Support by corporates as equity partners, networkers and potential income (if agreed with government) on placement/ allocation fees for diaspora skills. Would assist the implementation of the diaspora skills project.

Churches, social groups excluding schools,

As Zimbabwe is a majority Christian nation. The increased migration of its national has resulted in the missionary transfer of churches from Zimbabwe to host countries. The establishing of churches in the diaspora by organisations founded in

Zimbabwe. Mass increases of the missionary work has found institutions like Zimbabwe Assemblies of God (ZAOGA), Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM in Zimbabwe), Hear The Word Celebration Ministry, Faith Ministry  and the Mapostori- white garment sects among others establish themselves in all areas of high diaspora population. Attendance by diaspora of all walks of life and skills level in an open transparent support system has that is accessible to government audience in the endeavour to register the diaspora in general and skills in particular. The churches can assist:

  • Direct interaction with embassy staff who would facilitate or encourage registration
  • Indirect facilitation where churches are asked to maintain registered for the benefit of their ‘sheep’ that would be available only to the Zimbabwean government and maintain the security of those who may not have regularised.
  • It’s only through government that successful application for access to international branches and a platform for motivating skilled diaspora retention can be established with churches.
  • The attitude that must be presented is of caring assurance, communal benefit and not targeted economic agenda

8. Risks and Challenges

Counselling of diaspora in communication

The provision of information with openness that includes the risk of remigration despite all institutional intentions. The embassy stuff can directly inform the diaspora of the risks and further counselling may be provided by the ministry assigned to diaspora:

  • Family challenges as care is not provided without distance
  • Social differences
  • Potential tension by opportunists in society and families
  • Time and professional management level differences that need to be addressed
  • For the diaspora by embassy staff on reality of Social difference, women, children family, society, power

Risks: Pros and cons

The potential for failure exists in any endeavour and must be proactively dealt with. As reactiveness should be minimal in efforts of human relations that have a history of distrust. Failure can results due to rejection by diaspora or locals: Table 8 : Challenges 

Table 7

Reason for rejection Response                         
Mistrust in government Maintaining good communication with diaspora through all media formats. Transparent public relations and marketing of  project to all stakeholders
Consultants unknown so-

cial status

Appoint consultant as envoys in quasi-official status with defined parameters.
Lack of sponsorship Seek wide range of possible options locally and internationally
Legislation: hindrance by outstanding laws labour etc., challenges in registration with professional bodies, During and after consultative meetings with professional bodies and government seek assistance and request implementation of special measures for diaspora
Bureaucracy Request appointment of key reference persons in ministries for information when required.
Resistance by local Zimbabweans because of poor communication and public relations, Market Zimbabwe for all Zimbabweans. Maintain feedback and quick response to criticism
Poor time and process

management by stakeholders 

Implement internal control mechanism for all agreements by setting up pre-deadline check-ups.
Fear of inflation, the unknown and high expectant risk by the diaspora Communicate holistic views, while calling for individual positive outlook in challenges
Failure of investors to maintain agreement Request government to uphold contractual obligations with penalties for back dragging on labour contacts

Table 7

Reason for rejection Response                         
Victim mentality, feeling of sacrifice lost, betrayal syndrome, Local citizens: maintain communication of value of unity and all Zimbabweans. The value and benefit of hard work, value of education.

Diaspora: individual responsibility to attain skills attained and education if not accomplished

Miss-information Define communication parameters of consultant and government in respect to project. Maintain integrity
Poor planning or poor implementation management * Alert stakeholders repeatedly for need of excellence, integrity, humility and service  for projects success
Consultants failure to manage internal systems& controls (stop fraudsters by assessment& verification of credentials) Concur on accesses to information and submission to be forwarded to specified persons in government and professional bodies
Political rhetoric and tension Requests the support and professional etiquette of political parties in this endeavour as national good

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Care of the diaspora migrants as individuals with personalities and emotions, is paramount by all stakeholder. So as to view them as not as only a source of income to be used and literally raped of possession while the person is rejected. The provision of timely data on labour market conditions, regulations and opportunities for training, business development and credit programs by this project and government agencies helps connect the nation. The diaspora is part of the broader zimbaewans community. Any opportunity to defend and recognise the Zimbabwean citizen internally and internationally will be an additional opportunities to bond with the diaspora.  As the nation is buoyed by hope, newness, and opportunity. As the human foundations of unity, freedom, rights and hope are revived it’s paramount that the success of this endeavour not be hindered by misinformation, as all stakeholders proactively ensure that the lie finds truth at the finish line. That fear finds a resurgence of a nation becoming a reality as Zimbabwean put Zimbabwe first having responded to an honest, transparent and committed call of service where the dignity of hard work is honoured and history is created by an people of passion, this is a Zimbabwean home grown initiative not by observers but strategists, passionate and willing to act.

9. Conclusion

Migration is part of socio-economic and proficiencies development that allows individuals to gain a global perspective, Zimbabwe as a nation can benefit from migration in the new season. What must be assured is that migration is a choice of development and not survival. That the nation’s finest are retained and the hope of the student is to impact the nation, add value to it while seeing the world and maturing in socially and professionally at an international level. Let the horizon of the student’s planned personal legacy not solely be to leave the nation. The education of college students, high school students and senior primary students on migration, its benefit and dangers. The expounding of the rights and responsibilities of migrants routinely in the school would add to the adjustment of the social psyche and transform the current migration culture of the nation.  A survey conducted by SAMP among final-year college and university students showed a very high propensity among Zimbabwean students to leave the country, higher than students from other SADC Member States (see Tables 18 and 19). Nearly three quarters of students indicated that they had given the matter of leaving the country a “great deal of consideration.” Only 6 per cent of respondents had not considering moving abroad. As shown in Table 18, this figure is by far lower than those for students from other SADC Member States. Zimbabwean students appear to be more likely to move abroad after graduation than students from other SADC countries (see Table 19) (Crush et al., 2005: 20).

As the nation continues in its effort to make the nation attractive for all. The increases of social harmony with the international community must not come at the expense of the citizenry. The availability of the skills required for development only requires a meeting of common ground. Like a blind date where both parties are encouraged to offer the best in an environment of trust, confidence and hope.

As this project is initiated every Zimbabwean is being put first and thus called on to put Zimbabwe first, despite the past errors of each member of society or institutions; the present, is a gift of each day; all our nation requires is hope and passionate determination for a better future. Ensuring that sacrifices in the short term will bear fruit; for our land and the next generation of this great land.

As being planned locally by the Zimbabwe diaspora directorate in its economic focus, reintegration can be linked to more specific development priorities. For example, if a government has identified a need for training for specific jobs, agencies could provide bonuses to returning workers who agree to participate in such training programs. This could be especially valuable if returning workers could serve as trainers so that future workers could develop skills attractive to the businesses in destination economies. This assumes that one development priority for countries exporting workers is to maximize the revenues that such workers receive when working outside the country. Training programs, however, need not just facilitate out-migration. Development programs could also be targeted to enhance the skills of workers wishing to work in their home country. This suggests that governments might also choose to support returning workers to develop specific business plans. Subsidized credit or even grants could influence returning workers to engage in projects, including public sector development projects, identified by the government as a priority. This latter point allows us to consider budgetary support for groups of returning workers rather than individual workers. The assurance of restored income from insurance structures can also help smoothen decision to return (Global Forum on Migration and Development, Athens, November 4-5, 2009).  

Special Request in  diaspora issue:

As commented in the document there is great need for government sensitivity and action for the sake of the migrant national. Human trafficking, Xenophobia and slavery are potential reality that all migrants may suffer. More so under the circumstances of political apathy and diplomatic indifference towards such migrant plight. Sovereign states are called to take responsibility to the causes of wrong migrant decisions based on circumstances beyond their control. The proactive defence of citizens and the nation; will reduce the risk of crisis migrant situations, increase social awareness and national progress. Other members of the Zimbabwean diaspora community fall in the tragic group of illegal migrants (with skill or unskilled). As the current international sympathy holds for the new government.

Such individuals would benefit if government sought legal forgiveness or waivers, for returning migrants so as to enable them to continue being unhindered participants in the development of our nation e.g. overstay on visa in UAE, can face up to three months in jail Khaleejtimes.com. The availability of an emergency desk in the foreign office or assigned department; and a hotline for migration crisis issues would also assist in the lubrication of relations with the diaspora.


Howard Duncan, “Managing return migration for development,” KNOMAD Policy Brief 4, (Washington,

2016). Accessed on November 21, 2016: http://www.knomad.org/docs/Policy_Briefs/


Return Migration and Reintegration Policies: A primer Marianne Haase and Pia Honerath DECEMBER 2016

(Migrant Return and Reintegration Policy: A Key Component of Migration Governance; Kathleen Newland;

© 2017 International Organization for Migration (IOM))

Unveiling Zimbabwe’s national diaspora policy 28 September 2015;www.bulowayo24new.com

Zimbabwe: Migration and Brain Drain Pieter Frederik Janse van Vuuren, University of Stellenbosch, March


Docquier & Rapoport, 2010: 539


AND REGULAR MIGRATION. One Africa, One Voice, One Message; October, 2017


Chetsanga, C. J. and T. Muchenje, 2003 An Analysis of the Cause and Effect of the Brain Drain in Zimbabwe.

Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre, Harare  

Global Forum on Migration and Development, Athens, November 4-5, 2009; Report of the study on “Preparing Contract Workers for Return and Reintegration – Relevant for Development?” A project in support

of GFMD Roundtable 2: Migrant integration, reintegration and circulation for development Submitted by John Willoughby; American University; 24 September, 2009

Cf. for example National Reintegration Centre for OFWs, 2016. Accessed on November 21, 2016: http:// nrco.omdsinc.com/.

Social discussions: Francine Mahere, Josephine Matambanadzo, Simba Mandebvu, Nokthula Chibi, Grace Mangoma, Selina Chipula, Tasha Mazhawidza et.al.

10. Appendix

Industry Divisions

  1. Agriculture: agriculture, soil management, forestry, fishing, livestock, hunting
  2. Community, social and personal services: education, health, sewage and refuse disposal, sanitation, recreational, cultural and sport activities
  3. Construction: infrastructure development, roads, etc.
  4. Electricity gas and water supply: electricity gas steam& hot water supply, collection purification& distribution of water
  5. Finance, insurance, real-estate and business services: financial intermediation excluding pension and insurance, insurance and pensions, real estate, property development, renting machinery, research& development
  6. Manufacturing: transport sector equipment, motor vehicles, building, aircraft& spacecraft, , N.E.C., computing, electrical, medical precision and optical instruments, non-metallic, basic metals, nonferrous metals, fabricated metals, radio, communication, accounting and high technology manufacture
  7. Mining: mining & quarrying of energy producing material, coal, lignite, extraction of peat, mining & quarrying of non-energy producing material, metal ores technology
  8. Transport, storage and communication: transport and storage: land transport, transport via pipelines, water transport, air transport, supporting and auxiliary transport activities, post and telecommunications
  9. Wholesale and retail trade – restaurants and hotel: wholesale and retail trade repairs: sale maintained and repair of motor vehicle and motor cycles, retail sale of automotive fuel, repair of house hold goods, hotels and restaurants

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