Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa today appealed to millions of nationals who fled economic decline and political turmoil to return home and help rebuild the nation following the fall of Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa, 75, took over from the long-time leader who resigned on November 21 following a military takeover. Mugabe had ruled the southern African country for 37 years.
"You are so many here in the diaspora because of in particular economic challenges that beset our country," said Mnangagwa during a speech in Pretoria in South Africa during his maiden foreign trip.
"I appeal to you to come to Zimbabwe," he said exactly a month after Mugabe tendered his resignation under popular pressure and as he faced impeachment.
"Zimbabwe is your home, you are welcome ," said Mnangagwa adding the country needed the skills and experience Zimbabweans have acquired in the diaspora.
Millions of Zimbabweans have left the country over the past nearly two decades and the bulk of them are in neighbouring South Africa.
"Whatever offence we committed to you please put that behind you…. forgive.
"I wish to say may we together agree that let bygones be bygones and look in the future with hope.
"The country is ours together, it is not the country of ZANU-PF, it is not the country of MDC.
"From now on Zimbabwe is now open for business," he told Zimbabwean business people who fled to South Africa.
Some South African-based Zimbabwean business people, who flocked to the Zimbabwean consulate to hear Mnangagwa's proposals on revitalising the economy, are excited by the prospect of moving home.
A Zimbabwean couple, who have a business consultancy company in South Africa, said they attended the meeting to hear what Mnangagwa had to say about the business opportunities available in Zimbabwe.
"We want to see what opportunities are available for us back home and see if we could make use of them," said the couple, who didn't want to be named.
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