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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeNewsI have decided to leave Zimbabwe

I have decided to leave Zimbabwe

By Jimmy

I am a Zimbabwean and I have decided to leave the country!!! Yes, you heard that right, I have decided to leave the country!!

But first things first.

My name is Jimmy, and I am an ICT Professional (… an Internationally Certified Computer Programmer may I add). I have had my fair share of good fortune in Zimbabwe. I have worked for the financial services industry, from the stock market, asset management, to the banking sector. I have even worked for software houses that are into fulltime software development. Yeah, yeah, one can say I have prospered in the republic.

But why leave the beloved Republic of Zimbabwe?

I can promise you it has nothing to do with my hatred for this country or because I have always wanted to leave, or because some friend or relative has decided to send me a ‘ticket’.

No.

At this point I can only tell you of a few reasons why I decided to leave the beloved republic.

Trust me, I am patriotic to Zimbabwe. I love Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is in my heart.

After all, I have lived for over 30years in the beloved republic. I was born here. I was raised here. I was educated here. My entire life has been in the republic. In fact, when all my peers and former school mates left I stayed because I was patriotic to the land. I saw a future where others couldn’t see one. I told myself that whatever we were going through as a country would soon come to an end and that in no time things would be better.

For a long time I didn’t even wish to get a passport. I didn’t see the need for one. I wasn’t going anywhere, and no one could convince me to step outside the borders of the republic.

And then most of my cousins started leaving.

Some of my friends left too. Within about 2 years or so of their leaving they started sending us pictures of their nice cars, houses, the fancy restaurants, the food they ate…blah blah blah.

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But that didn’t bother me. I wasn’t moved. I was a patriot. I loved my country. I was optimistic and very hopeful that in a few years things would change. I told myself that I too would one day, in the republic, drive a range rover.

But then things changed for me.

In short, allow me to say I married and along came 2 children. Life in Zimbabwe is something else once you start having kids and you need to feed them. Suddenly you need a 2 or more bedroomed house to rent. Of course in the republic we don’t buy houses, they are very expensive, and the banks are not giving mortgage loans.

Then came the 2012 elections. Then came the company closures. Then banks started closing.

Of course the factories have been closed for a while and I sort of winked at that because I worked for a bank. But when my bank started facing the liquidity crisis and closure I knew at once that no one was immune to the environment.

Then I started realizing something about the republic.

No one cares for the public. We have dirty water in the taps and no one cares. We have erratic supply of electricity and no one cares. The roads are in shambles and no one is doing anything about it. Fuel prices go up and we can’t do anything about it. New taxes are introduced and we can only comply. Internet is very expensive. The public hospitals, the ones which we can afford, provide crappy service and people are dying because the nurses don’t care. I know because I watched my mother in law die at the hands of poor service delivery. And no one cares. Not them, not you, not the minister of health. No one. The company CEOs get treated outside the country now. But what about me? What about my kids?

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Become an entrepreneur, they keep telling us. Start your own business. Create your own job.

But not everybody has dreams of owning or running a business. Some of us are just content to be the spanner boys and the foot soldiers. Some of us are content just doing our jobs and getting paid for it.

I don’t know about you but I am tired of the dirty tap water. I am tired of seeing all those potholes in a road. I am tired of sometimes available power supply. I am tired of walking the streets of a capital city that are infested with ‘bhero-stalls’ and cheap, crappy, Chinese products. I am tired of calling the national electricity department for a fault and they come 10days later. I am tired of poor internet speeds. I am tired of expensive fuel. I am tired of working for ‘hand-to-mouth’ pay-outs. You can’t have savings accounts in the republic. Your bank could just close tomorrow. I am just tired of struggling for everything. Why does it cost me an arm and a leg to buy a flat screen TV?

And guess what, my children have to grow up in such an environment and go to schools whose teachers don’t even know why they are doing what they do.

No.

I am sick and tired of it all.

Surely I wasn’t born to suffer. I just want a better life that’s all.

And where am I gonna go?

Anywhere outside Zimbabwe.

Perhaps Botswana? Perhaps South Africa? (Wait, those guys don’t want us anymore). Perhaps Zambia? Perhaps Kenya? Perhaps Namibia? Take me anywhere where the VISA application is not a hassle and I’ll gladly go.

Once again my name is Jimmy and I am a Zimbabwean. I am an ICT professional and I am leaving Zimbabwe!!!!!

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Written by

Nigel Mugamu is extremely passionate about the use of tech in Africa, travel, wine, Man Utd, current affairs and Zimbabwe.

Latest comments

  • I couldnt agree with you more at Jimmy …thank you for sharing ..and i wish you and your family all the best.

  • The Republic is killing dreams.
    Truth is they don’t care,no one cares.At the end of the day you got to progress, the Republic isn’t giving us the environment to progress,we will find a conducive environment elsewhere.
    Finished my engineering degree abroad came back home last year hoping to solve my nations problems impart knowledge. No one cares, they don’t care.I left yesterday, no hope of coming back anytime soon.My other colleagues leaving too.
    The solutions me and my colleagues had for Harare, Bulawayo our road network, water treatment,rail infrastructure will be put to use elsewhere.
    Till another day motherland, right now you have nothing to offer me except poverty.

  • A very insightful piece. I was considering returning home to Zimbabwe but the reality is no one can survive in these current conditions. Would anyone care that youno Zimbabweans who shud be rebuilding the country are so discouraged that they would rather start afresh elsewhere? It’s a sad state of affairs

  • I left.
    In all fairness, I left well before things started to truely go down hill in The Republic, but the picture was coming into focus when I left.
    My plan had always been to establish myself here, and then go back to The Republic with Diaspora Earned Tools to help rebuild The Republic.
    That is no longer been the plan because nothing works in The Republic: whenever I visit, I am reminded of the importance of things like running water, reliable electricity, and basic civic services like police, ambulances, and sanitation.
    A few years ago, I put a few shekels together and tried to set up a business in the Republic. In retrospect, the business was dead well before it was born because in The Republic, people have given up on legitimate business: everyone is looking for the quick score, because experience has taught them that nothing about tomorrow is promised.
    I cry for my beloved Republic, and for her people who cannot stay there.
    I don’t know what the solution is.
    But that is ok.
    Before a solution to a problem can be identified, first, the fact that a problem exists must be articulated.
    The Republic is broken.

  • Jimmy ,

    Well written and passionate insight into how you’re feeling . And the saddest thing is youre not alone. When i returned home in 2008 i vowed i would NEVER leave .. in s few short years how that has changed..Like you ii now have 2 young boys, facing the single parent challenge and half the time i feel like i will have a nervous breakdown . As tough as it is , the shores are calling my name because it is just NOT affordable here , somethings gotta give but how long do we wait ? Raising children and trying to survive are not supposed to be this hard especially in your own country .. If you leave before me , GOOD Luck and GOD Bless you and your family and be sure to tell us how it is .:)

  • My name is not Jimmy but i’m also leaving Zimbabwe. It seems better to go through the long Visa processes and leave tan stay. I feel like a visitor in my own country, one who has overstayed their welcome even. It pains me to watch as the country crumbles, i feel you Jimmy. I’m tired of fighting to survive. I cannot even say out or point out what is wrong without fearing for my life.

    My name is not Jimmy, i’m an ICT Professional too and i’m leaving my own home. 🙁

  • I always thought PATRIOTISM was a 2 way thing. You give back to a country that has given to you and vice versa. However the rules always seem to differ when it comes to our beloved Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is the only country in the world that can make HOPE a very scarce commodity.

  • Ngaaende hake Jimmy. You don’t owe anybody anything, guy. Some people will whine about patriotism, heee this and that, heee why did you have to write about it, what what. Inzwaka … the only people you owe anything are your wife and kids. It’s not unpatriotic to care about your family. Do what feels right for YOU. Anyone who says anything about it, tell them to take in your entire family and feed you sadza! Go well.

  • Interesting and thought provoking piece Comrade. I guess many people have thought about that at some point. Best wishes. But I’m staying, leaving will be accepting that “they” can eff us up whichever way they like. I can’t give them that satisfaction.

  • Jimmy has reached a tipping point and viewing from the terraces, I’m inclined to agree with him. There comes a time when one has to be a little selfish to advance their aspirations and Jimmy fits that category. Jimmy can still contribute to the national cause from a remote location through remittances and those who claim he’s being unpatriotic are a bit ill-informed. Go well my brother Jimmy 🙂

  • hmmmmm, Jimmy…..yo story really touched me. nw u have activated an idle button, wl also thnk abt ths whole issue, for the sake of my family

  • I find some of these problems are exaggerated. I was in Zimbabwe till a week ago. I left Zimbabwe in 2005. I lived in South Afric, Botswanand I can tell you that most Zimbabweans in South Africa and Botswana are suffering. The jobs are not paying well and Zimbabweans are forced into crime and prostitution because life is expensive and its very difficult for a Zimbabwen to get a job especially when you are degreed. The non educated suffer even worse and they have to work in restaurants which dont give them salaries and only rely on tips. They cant afford to rent a room and you find a number of people sharing one flat divided by curtains (that is if they are lucky to share the room with one other family. People are misserable. The few that are employed rely only on loans (most cars they come with are all on credit) and heavily in debt. Some when they die, they leave a huge debt to the family and they experience repossession.
    Having said that I was in Zimbabwe, saw people are affording to buy basic cars and even luxurios cars on cash. People afford to buy land and build houses. Things are not as bad as potryed. I personally met people who have reloacted back to Zimbabwe from UK with their families and they are ok.Life remains better than most people who are struggling outside. Of course so many people selling bhero clothes but go to South Africa, UK, Zambia, you will see life is even tougher. These countries also has its problems and none is immune. Talk about electricity load shedding, its in all countries in Africa including South Africa. In SA crime is high, there is xenophobia and you cannot afford to send your child to any school, you worry about weather your child will come back everythime they go to school.

    • Those are your problems. That is your opinion. It’s perfectly valid. If you find someone else’s problems “exaggerated”, then by all means come back and live here in Zimbabwe. Not just coming to visit. As for Jimmy, he’s going. That’s his opinion. And his choice. Don’t trivialise it, just simply make your own.

    • If the problems are exaggerated then why don’t you return to your country and stay, instead of visiting??

    • You only managed to look at one side of life.

    • am liking your comment although every man has a right to his opinion. what you have said is a fact and there are no ways to run away from reality. xenophobia, prostitution, thieving,gays, lesbians, all in love of money. But bear in mind that this is not the situation faced by every person, some exits leads to prosperity so go ahead Jimmy. vtv is staying till i experience darkness.

  • A well written Piece Jimmy, i feel your pain. i was in the republic about 2weeks ago and i was left wondering why nobody cares when such a beautiful country is just but falling into pieces. I was happy in the rural areas, where i knew i didn’t have to expect much and my 2days in Bulawayo where unbearable. I saw the pain in many people’s faces, i saw the struggles and i felt that my suffering in a foreign country was nothing compared to what i would endure if i decided to come back home. I applaud you for surviving this long, some of us couldn’t…. & for the sake of your kids you gotta do what you have to do man. Best of luck for wherever you decide to go.

  • Tibvire apa “no one cares”, what have you done to try and improve the lives of other zimbabweans?
    Let me help you out and summarize your tale, “Basa rapera, zvinhu zvaoma, ndavakuenda.”
    I would do the same especially with children involved.
    The problem that I have with your article is that it’s filled with pretentious bullshit, the same kind that fuels Zims wannabe celebrities. If your job was paying a lot you would not see the follies of the republic, but because you are now unemployed.I assume this because you have time to right this article as well as time to see and think about the problems in our country (which most working class Zimbabweans don’t have a chance to do, but that’s a debate for another day).

    Also It was dumb not to have a passport.

  • I read this piece and for a minute I thought your are talking about Kenya. Kenya has made some great strides in the last couple of years but people there don’t care too. A health system that cannot support its people but our leaders travel outside for care, over consumerism that’s creating a market for substandard goods and services, Chinese fakery all over the place and no one cares.Yes and just like you I have lost three relatives to sheer recklessness and no one cares. The great new highways and apartments that have become death traps due to lack of discipline and shoddy workmanship is still not enough to have Kenyans care, they just don’t care. We fight over silly tribal divisions and put leaders in place because they are your tribe yet they don’t give a damn about me and my tribe, new leadership eras have become synonymous with ‘eating turns’, turns to steal from the citizen and no one cares.I had hope for my country, but sadly I have to accept Kenyans just don’t care too. Good luck on your ventures!

  • I am Jimmy. I used to be ‘blindly patriotic’. My slogan was ndisu tichasara tichidzima magetsi when everyone is gone. I had several opportunities to leave the country immediately after school my parents wanted us to study abroad ini ndakaramba. I didnt get a passport until 2006 cos i didnt feel I needed one.

    While I was single i earnestly had no intention of leaving Zim. Then I married and went on holiday to SA and my wife wanted us to move to SA but I wasnt interested and my cause was backed by the car we were travelling with got stolen while at a rest stop. ndikati hona why would we want to come here!

    Then the last straw that made me give up was when my laptop Harddrive crashed. That was my means of making a living. I couldnt find a replacement, I couldnt find an upgrade from 40gb to 80gb. i slept at frwns house when they went to bed O would junp on their computers and work until 7am. And i had to get off my ‘patriotic high horse’ and move. my friends said I was a sell out. but my condition had changed my wife was expecting our forat child. she travelled two weeks before delivery.

    But anyone who questions my patriotism towards Zim I dont even respond to I dont have the energy or the time.

  • Hi Jimmy

    Your complaints are very valid. Everyone deserves to have electricity, a functional health system, great schools and work opportunities at the end of it all. And Zimbabwe is not providing these. But at the end of the day, nothing guarantees that these foreign lands shall welcome you with open arms. In fact, nine times out of ten, they will throw stones at you as soon as they see you approaching. Why? Because they too have their own problems. People in South Africa, the UK, USA where people are rushing for refuge. These countries sell you nothing but dreams.

    Hamba Kahle Jimmy
    But hear my words; if you can’t make it in this our Republic, do not expect better outside.

  • Aah Jimmy.

    Saka wafungepi, kwauchaenda wobva wapuwa a small or big diamond mine just for you? Stay and fight in the environment that you are familiar with. You are just quitting, there and you wont last kwaunoenda there is too much demand ikoko.

  • I actually enjoy the power cuts, its when i get the most reading done.

  • I am pretty sure every Zimbo individual can write a novel about their situation. That is really beside the point, real question is what are we going to do collectively to fix the situation? What is the cause of this whole mess, who is responsible? It’s unfortunate jimmy has taken this long to learn that future is not that bright in ZIM for these reason: Firstly Zimbos do not care about their neighbor’s situation for as long as their bellies are full. If we call a strike only a few who are affected will show up, the rest will be laughing. Zimbo like to hide their poverty, one can go for days without food but they will never openly admit things are not well, which brings in the other factor that we are cowards. We cannot challenge our government because we are afraid of riot police or death. Secondly we are stuck with an incompetent government which is full of excuses, they just need an overseas sanction to keep your tapes dry or lights off, I mean delivering the most basic services. Thirdly I think our plight escalated to this level because of Diaspora, image a situation where all Zimbos in US, UK, NZ, AUS, ZA etc where refused entry into those countries and stuck in Zim. Zimbabwe will be a different place right now. My name is Kurauone and I live in the republic of Xenophobia.

  • Thank you very much for sharing Jimmy.

    Being a young Diasporan who spent the last 2 thirds of my life away from the Republic, I have to say I found your piece really touching. I have to admit, I’ve been considering moving back to the Republic (on a part time basis at first with a view to eventually settle) because there’s no ‘life’ in the diaspora. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great for survival and earning enough to send remittances etc., but there has to be more to life. Having just finished my education, I’ve recently realised that the diaspora is not my home. My experience throughout my young life has been that we are and always will be inferior (perhaps this goes only for the UK). And the suffering is not worth it for me. The life of earning just enough for remittances is not attractive at all to me.

    Unless we create drastic changes it will only be the diaspora keeping the country alive and, to me, that is not life. As someone has already said, maZimba need to learn to stand up, speak up and DEMAND our rights. While the Republic’s leaders are enjoying the benefits of our country’s rich resources, millions are suffering in their homes in silence.

    I believe we should encourage peaceful revolution in the uneducated, ignorant people who shamelessly pledge allegiance to the very men and women causing their suffering. As far as I see, maZimba inevtiably face discomfort – whether in silence or in protest.

  • Hey Jimmy…

    I really feel you my brother and your reasons for leaving and come to think of it , I was out of Zimbabwe and then went back and couldn’t survive and left within a year.. yah that is how hard it was for me. Now addressing every Zimbabwean in the diaspora.. for how long shall we continue to renew our residency papers and be scond class citizens to these countries whilst we offer them first class services?

    I fully believe that the current opposition party let everyone down because their policies lacked a high level of intelligence and unity of purpose and that can’t hold when you are camapigning against a party that is controlling the media. I believe there is a real need for the diaspora to start to give back to Zimbabwe so that we can start to build back our country.. How long do youthink the current old Zanu leadership will hold on power. God is for everyone and bit by bit they will fall and we will claim back our country. I advocate for the formation of a political party , with God driven ethics which should have the financial backing of the Zimabweans who miss their homeland and then we can form a party for Zimbabweans , by Zimbabweans..

    Wouldn’t you want a metro / subway system that links Chitungwiza and Harare.. an urban tram system that circulates in Harare.. a cleaner Zimbabwe.. if and if only we start to want change for Zimbabwe, then we should start now.. A journey of a thousand miles begins with us getting in touch and creating a roadmap for our country……………. I am willing to go that extra mile..

    Be blessed.. To God be the glory

  • Well done. To other young people in the country, I know it is tough, particularly for young professionals, if you can have a plan and have clear goals for yourself, then trust me on one thing, get the hell OUT of Zimbabwe. If you haven’t made a plan, start this weekend and work on it, use your friends outside the country to help.

  • I am curious to find out how Jimmy is doing. It’s been 9 months now

  • Jimmy,
    I am an ICT Tech and l also left the beloved Republic as well and while the grass has not always been green rather brownish, l have no regrets. Rather than go back to the beloved Republic l can see a better life for me and those i brought to this world. I would love to know how you are doing and were you manage to drop anchor.

  • I am a Zimbabwean and I have decided to leave the country! Yes, you heard that right, I have decided to leave the country!

  • I hear you Jimmy. It’s so sad that we have come to a time when we are forced to make a choice between fighting for home and fighting to make a better life for ourselves. I’m sitting on the fence. I love my Republic and want to be part of the solution but I also have a future and children to think about. I hope things are working out wherever you are.

  • I hear you JImmy,
    I am more of a proponent of change. I think we need to get the elephant out of the room even if it means tearing it down.
    to be honest i think i am the only one who thinks like this because every one else is too afraid of being killed.
    I feel you jimmy, alot more than you know i understand what you are going through because i am going through the same thing.
    half the kids in my son’s class have a parent abroad paying their fees.
    it says alot about us as a nation.

    my name is Arthur, i have abandoned my stance to fight for the zimbabwe i want to see because i am the only one willing to do what has to be done
    i am in the process of sorting my passport and I am leaving the country…

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