Zimbabwe politics also needs Diasporans

MILLIONS of Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora are among the country’s most skilled people and ways must be found to make them invest in the country and pursue political careers, former education minister, Fay Chung, has said.

She said it would be good for Zimbabwe if people in the Diaspora participated in the country’s political processes and if local political and business entities formulated strategies which made participation easier.

In an interview in Harare, Chung said such strategies must be varied so as to suit the different players including investment into housing, industrial and commercial enterprises.

“The diaspora can offer their skills on both short term and long term bases. For example, they can provide their services during overseas summer holidays,” said Chung.

She added, “External experience should be seen as a great advantage and should be fostered by the government through practical agreements.”

Chung also urged professionals to not only concentrate on their careers but rather compete for political positions as well.

“The current situation seriously deprives the Zimbabwean system of its best intellects, who have instead pursed their careers, the majority of them outside the country.

“There is need to build strong relations between the academic community and those in power. The present situation that isolates the elite is bad for them and for the country as a whole,” said Chung.

She said in order for all the people to participate in politics and elections there is need to refine rules and regulations.

She said, “Not like now which gives room for those with the most patronage power and so can buy the most votes or those who are the most aggressive and violent and can frighten off their opponents.

“The present system gives no room for professionals as most of them are reluctant to fight in a political arena with better endowed rivals who may control violent youth militia or buy votes,” added Chung.

A veteran of the liberation struggle, Chung was deputy secretary for Administration in the ministry of education between 1980 and 1988 before she became Minister from 1988 to 1993.


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