WASHINGTON DC —
Zimbabweans send millions of dollars every month back home for supporting their families and relatives who are struggling to make ends meet under the current harsh economic environment.
Local estimates put the annual diaspora remittances at almost $800 million, with the bulk of the money meant for assisting families in meeting their daily needs. Some independent estimates have pegged the remittances at over one billion dollars.
This inflow of remittances from the diaspora has become the latest hunting ground for Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who says Zimbabweans living in various nations should send more money to Harare.
Critics view this as an appeal for help from the president, who in the past has attacked Zimbabweans for going for greener pastures in other countries instead of developing the southern African nation.
But some people in the diaspora and Zimbabwe believe that this can only be done if there is some mutual partnership between Zimbabweans living in other nations and state officials.
For perspective, Studio 7’s Gibbs Dube spoke with Thamsanqa Zhou, a Zimbabwean living in London, and chief economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe. Zhou said they need some incentives in order to send more money back home.