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Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai Renews Appeal to Expatriates to Return, Help Rebuild


Mr. Tsvangirai described his invitation to Zimbabwean expatriates to come home as a 'patriotic challenge,' adding that the national unity government he leads with President Mugabe will offer incentives to encourage repatriation

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe has again appealed to millions of his fellow nationals living abroad to return to help rebuild the country.

Mr. Tsvangirai issued the appeal on Thursday in opening a conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on the challenges facing Zimbabwe in reconstruction and the role to be played by the estimated 4 million in the diaspora.

Many of those expatriates are living in South Africa to which they migrated over the past decade in increasing numbers seeking work and political stability - but where they have faced mounting domestic hostility towards foreigners.

Mr. Tsvangirai described his invitation as a “patriotic challenge’ to those living outside the country, saying that the national unity government he leads with his former political nemesis, President Robert Mugabe, will offer incentives to encourage expatriates to bring their skills and their savings home.

But political analyst John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe says it is premature for Mr. Tsvangirai to urge a return en masse.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, speaking at the conference, urged his fellow Zimbabweans to seek partnerships for investment at home.

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