Sad state of affairs

Sinqobile Tessa
HOPELESS: The caricature says it all

The Zanu PF led government has been a serious letdown for many Zimbos.

In the last two decades, millions of Zimbabweans have left the country for greener pastures in neighbouring countries and beyond.

These include both professionals and non-skilled, prepared to do any job for survival.

In South Africa, Zimbabwe has the largest migrant population and most of them are undocumented.

This has eroded their dignity as they are sometimes treated inhumanely, labeled criminals and accused of ‘taking’ jobs meant for South Africans.

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Last week, yet another incident happened showing just how Zimbabweans who are staying illegally in that country are belittled.

MEC for Health in Limpopo, Phophi Ramathuba became a centre of attraction when she was filmed scolding a Zimbabwean woman who had sought medical services in one of the hospitals in that province.

The senior health official told the patient that Zimbos were an unnecessary burden on South Africa’s public health system and that she should go back to her country for medical attention.

Ramathuba’s rants were of course met with mixed feelings: she was a brave woman to some for speaking out on Zimbabwe’s bad governance and an unprofessional health personnel for harassing a patient.

The issue for me is not whether she is bold or not but how our past and present governments have mismanaged our economy such that millions have had to leave and be subjected to inhumane treatment in foreign lands.

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If all was well in our country, most Zimbos out there would not have left. Nothing beats the comfort and joy of being home with relatives and friends. But they were forced by the circumstances to leave for better opportunities.

Our public health system collapsed long ago but those in power are not bothered because they can seek medical care anywhere in the world.

Unemployment in Zimbabwe is more than 80 percent and again nothing meaningful is being done to bolster the economy and create jobs.

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Often, Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa have been told to go back home and fix their country. And seeing that we are heading towards elections next year, this kind of talk will become even louder.

The ballot has not solved anything in Zimbabwe; God knows what will!

So even if my fellow countrymen come back home in their numbers, I don’t think that will solve anything.

I am sure outsiders expect us to revolt against the regime. Again, it’s not that easy as we know the consequences: lives have been lost before.

We will, however, continue hoping and praying for a better Zimbabwe so we don’t cross borders for the chance at a better life.

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