Nswazi people go home wiser but poorer(14-12-06)

class=MsoBodyText style=”MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 6pt”>BULILIMA – Almost 500 members of the Nswazi community in Bulilima District of Matebeleland South been given permission by the government to undertake voluntary repatriation to their native country, Botswana, as they say they can no longer survive the economic hardships of the Mugabe regime.

The situation became unbearable for the Nswazi people, whose native country boats one of the most stable economies on the continent. The Zimbabwean dollar trades 33,000 to the Pula.

Among the 480 who are leaving are teachers, nurses, police officers, lawyers and industrial workers. For Botswana this is a boost in its human resources base. Zimbabwe has long been regarded as an educational training field for the entire Southern African region because of its heavy investment in education at Independence.

The Nswazi people came to Zimbabwe, then southern Rhodesia in 1947, under Chief John Madawo Nswazi, fleeing civil strife in the then British Protectorate of Bechuanaland. They were allocated land in the Bulilima District. Chief Nswazi died in 1965 and was buried there. Following the death of their leader, the Nswazi community asked the Zimbabwean government for permission to exhume and rebury his remains in Botswana. Permission was granted and the burial was done in 2002.

The reburial of the leader four years ago meant that there was no longer any link between the Nswazi people and Zimbabwe, hence they sought to be repatriated. While they might have enjoyed there stay here, this is no longer the Zimbabwe they cherished and envied when they came 50 years ago.

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