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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe wants the world to believe that Zimbabweans who trekked to South Africa are uneducated people who mistakenly see that country as heaven on earth.

The 91-year-old president made disparaging remarks about Kalangas and people from Matabeleland after chairing a Sadc summit that was held in Harare a few days ago.

He alleged that the Kalangas were notorious for petty theft in South Africa and were not educated enough to assume good jobs.

Mugabe’s unwarranted outbursts show he is a man divorced from reality, and possibly living in denial.

Millions of Zimbabweans living in the diaspora did not leave their country simply because they were lazy, stupid or that they have illusions about the grass being greener across the borders. They did so because life in Zimbabwe had become unbearable for them after being ruined by Mugabe’s policies.

Others fled Mugabe’s violent campaign against political opponents, which saw thousands seeking asylum in other countries following the emergence of the MDC as a g political force. The chaotic land reform programme also worsened matters as it displaced thousands of people, leaving them without any means of survival.

If Mugabe had pursued sound economic policies and had not chosen to unleash unmitigated violence against his perceived opponents, there would be very few Zimbabweans who would have decided to leave their country of birth.

Nobody would have willingly gone to do menial jobs in the UK or other western countries or to risk crossing the crocodile-infested Limpopo River in search of a better life.

The migration from Zimbabwe is a direct result of Mugabe’s failed policies that turned Zimbabwe into hell on earth for its people. Think about the 20078 economic meltdown when our supermarkets were empty, when prices were being hiked after every few minutes and when we got into long queues for every available item on sale. Mugabe should wake up to the reality that he turned the jewel of Africa into a basket case, triggering the influx of Zimbabweans into neighbouring South Africa and Botswana.

As South African President Jacob Zuma and Botswana President Ian Khama observed last week, Mugabe should not just blame others for xenophobia but should instead create an enabling environment that will make Zimbabwe attractive again to millions who are suffering in foreign countries.

If our industries get back to working again, jobs are abundant, hospitals have staff and medicines, schools are well equipped, water and electricity becomes readily available etc, those in the diaspora will find reason to come back home.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard

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