Zimbabweans have taken to social media again, this time to air grievances over the conduct of their government resulting under the hashtag #HowTheyRobbedUs. Citizens from all over the country (and abroad) have jumped onto the bandwagon to vent. The trend comes at a time when a senior government, Professor Jonathan Moyo official is fighting allegations of corruption and misuse of funds. The Standard, a privately owned Zimbabwean newspaper recently reported that some of the funds in ZIMDEF, a state fund for vocational training and the youths was directed towards the Zimbabwean President’s party and a one million man march held in his honour. It is on the backdrop of such scandalous expositions that social media in the country has erupted with narratives of how the decades gone by have been in the country.
1994 we took refugees fleeing Genocide in Rwanda. 2 decades later Zimbabweans look enviously at Rwanda's economic progress #Howtheyrobbedus— Alex T Magaisa (@Wamagaisa) October 19, 2016
The AFDB on the Zimbabwean economic outlook says, “GDP growth declined from 3.8% in 2014 to an estimated 1.5% in 2015 but is projected to slightly increase to 1.6% in 2016.” This pales in comparison with Rwanda which has been consistently achieving 7% economic growth estimates every year. When viewed through the lens of a country sinking in graft and a culture of impunity, the numbers are underwhelming and disappointing. More should be seen to be done.
Broken families, the diaspora, my father hasn't been home in 11 years #HowTheyRobbedUs— Zororo Makamba (@ZororoMakamba) October 18, 2016
Father left for the UK in 2007. I haven't seen him in close to ten years. #HowTheyRobbedUs— Mako (@NzouSuwani) October 17, 2016
They get medical treatment overseas while our mother go through this #HowTheyRobbedUs pic.twitter.com/CXJ7zXIzzQ— Simanga Madhlabuta (@SmangaMad) October 18, 2016
Millions of Zimbabwean citizens are in the diaspora with the United Nations Development Programme having put the number at a monstrous three million in South Africa alone two years ago. Recently, the Finance Minister of Zimbabwe announced a steep $800 million decrease in diaspora remittances from $2 billion. This has been attributed to loss of confidence in Zimbabwe as a safe investment destination and probable liquidity crunches in the countries diasporans reside. What is clear is a continued lack of engagement from that population outside the country and a growing disconnect. Some might never come back home even if fortunes improve.
Though some are crying foul over the dysfunction in the country, others have called it “just another pity party for the cream of Zimbabwe”. One Jean Gasho, a Zimbabwean in the United Kingdom writing on her blog said, “Personally I feel like the pity parties by Zimbabweans are rather getting out of hand. Please Zimbabweans just stop it! It’s nauseating. Why do you want to lament to the world about how you have been robbed by your own government? What is the world going to do? Listen people of Zimbabwe, the world doesn’t actually care about the Zimbabwean situation right now. Each country has their own problems to deal with.” Other Zimbabweans have however, continued to post their tweets of discontentment over an array of issues from healthcare, education, jobs, corruption, among many other shortcomings in the small Southern African nation.