Zimbabwe’s government has revealed plans to woo its citizens in the diaspora to invest about $1 billion in the economy this year.
According to Bloomberg, Obert Mpofu, minister of macro-economic planning said, “Zimbabweans in the diaspora have expressed interest in investing back home, that’s why we’re doing this”.
“We think $1 billion is a conservative estimate,” Mpofu noted.
Remittances from the diaspora have for long helped sustain the struggling economy. Zimbabweans in the diaspora regularly send money through formal and informal channels and the government is willing to tap into the investment potential of citizens working abroad.
However, against the backdrop of recent acknowledgement by the country’s President Robert Mugabe that the country lost $15 billion in potential diamonds revenue, the diasporic community’s confidence to invest is likely going to be low.
Social media users have been expressing cynicism over the proposal considering it was during Mpofu’s tenure as mines minister when billions of dollars were misappropriated.
The skepticism over the initiative also stems from previous admission by former Reserve bank governor Gideon Gono that at the height of the country’s cash crunch between 2008-2009, bank accounts of private businesses and foreign aid groups were raided without permission to keep the economy afloat.