Fleeing Zimbabwe: The Process and implications of the emigration of Zimbabweans during Zimbabwe’s post-colonial crisis
In the year 2000 Zimbabwe’s socio-economic standing crumbled due to the political decisions of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) ruled by Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe. This article examines the crisis of Zimbabwe, their trials and tribulations during the period between 2000 and 2009. As the political and economic situation worsened, a significantly increased number of Zimbabweans fled their country, emigrating to other countries such as Britain and South Africa, seeking alternative sources of income and better livelihoods. I will examine the effects that led to the crisis, now termed the ‘Zimbabwean crisis’ and continue to give an overview of the social, economic and political state of Zimbabwe during the 2000-2009 period. My aim is to further discuss the impact that these crises had on its citizens and how some of them emigrated because of these trials and tribulations in search for a better life in other states.
It is often popularly thought that the survivors of a society or a country often remain helpless during a crisis, I will argue this was not the case with a significant number of Zimbabweans who left their country to escape the poor living conditions. The implications of these emigrations are very vital to assess and discuss because they further have an impact on the socio-economic standing on the communities and the greater government of Zimbabwe itself. Here, my attempt will be discuss the roles played in attempts and successions to better the lives of communities and the country as a whole by Zimbabwe’s “global citizens” (Mbiba, 2005), those who have fled from home; and what this means for the future social formations of Zimbabwe’s citizens.
There are opposing arguments in the broader discourse regarding the overall cause of the Zimbabwe crisis. Sam Moyo and Paris Yeros (2007b) argue that “the economic, social and political crisis that gripped Zimbabwe in the 2000s are a direct result of imperialism, neo-liberalism and peripheral capitalism that have characterized post independent Zimbabwe”. Other authors such as Mamdani (2008) analyse this crisis as part of neo-colonialism. Taking the direction of some authors, I will integrate the different views in this paper as I found that they overlap quite a lot.
The ZANU-PF received political strain from the MDC being their greatest opposing threat. The MDC gained popularity and Robert Mugabe responded to this by yet again bashing white farmers and British imperialists and the IMF (Bond & Manyanya, 2003:67). Violence struck in 2000 around the time of parliamentary elections due to political opposition that left much unclarified about the future on the country, furthering the Zimbabwean crisis. The army and police were overcommitted in endless battles to control the masses and instil fear on those who went against the ZANU-PF. Such actions...