By Lionel Mhofuyemukono
Zimbabweans in South Africa: It’s Time to Return Home and Shape Your Future As Zimbabwe Prepares for Elections, Voter Registration Opens for a Brighter Future
As the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) nears its expiration date, Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa are facing uncertainty and fear. The lack of permit renewal has raised concerns about possible xenophobic attacks and the need to find alternative solutions. In light of these challenges, it is essential for Zimbabweans to consider returning home, especially with the upcoming elections and open voter registration.
The experiences shared by Zimbabweans in South Africa highlight the reality of their vulnerable position. The fear of being targeted by those who harbor xenophobic sentiments is understandable, as no one should have to live in constant fear and insecurity. However, it is important to recognize that staying in South Africa is not a sustainable solution.
Zimbabweans cannot force South Africans to love them or change their perceptions overnight. The responsibility lies with Zimbabweans to actively participate in their country’s democratic processes and work towards building a better future for themselves and their families. The voter registration process provides a crucial opportunity for Zimbabweans to exercise their democratic right and shape the political landscape of their homeland.
While the decision to return to Zimbabwe may seem daunting, it is essential to consider the current state of the South African economy. The recent collapse of the rand, with trading rates reaching an alarming 1 to 19 rands, indicates the economic challenges faced by the country. The South African economy is burdened by factors such as electricity load shedding, which disrupts daily life and hampers economic growth. In contrast, returning to Zimbabwe presents an opportunity to contribute to rebuilding the nation’s economy and actively participate in its growth.
It is understandable that some Zimbabweans have concerns about the economic and political situation in their home country. However, progress cannot be made without active participation and engagement. The upcoming elections offer an opportunity to voice concerns, elect competent leaders, and shape the direction of the nation. It is crucial to remember that change cannot happen if individuals remain passive observers from a foreign land.
Additionally, organizations and associations have expressed concern over the termination of the ZEP system, as it will impact businesses and families who have built their lives in South Africa. While these concerns are valid, it is vital to remember that the long-term solution lies in actively participating in Zimbabwe’s democratic processes. Forcibly removing permit holders will not resolve South Africa’s unemployment crisis or address the challenges faced by Zimbabweans.
The decision to return to Zimbabwe is undoubtedly a personal one, and individual circumstances may vary. However, it is essential for Zimbabweans in South Africa to consider the long-term prospects and the role they can play in shaping the future of their home country. It may not be an easy journey, but by participating in voter registration and upcoming elections, Zimbabweans can work towards building a brighter and more prosperous future for themselves and their families.
The time has come for Zimbabweans in South Africa to seize the opportunity to return home, participate in the upcoming elections.