Political Reporter- Simba Moyo

As Zimbabwe’s economy continues to nosedive, the youths have been the hardest hit, despite having the energy, zeal, and professional expertise to develop the nation, they are seen trekking out of their home soil into foreign lands were at times they are ill treated.

They have been termed economic refugees and put at the receiving end of xenophobia, while being accused of being involved in criminal acts, as well as of taking away jobs from the nationals.

Most recently, a cabinet minister in South Africa (Minister of Home Affairs) Fikile Mbalula, torched a diplomatic storm when he made sensational claims that Zimbabwean youths are running away from the national army and resort to criminal activities in South Africa.

The Zimbabwean embassy in SA, while it emphasised that it does not condone criminal behaviour, expressed displeasure over the unsubstantiated claims, saying it was going to engage the South African government over the matter.

Whatever the case may be, some Zimbabweans have accused Mugabe’s regime for driving out its citizens because of failed policies and corruption that has ran the economy down.

Reading a joint press statement signed by several social movements in Harare yesterday, #ThisFlag founder pastor Evan Mawarire said the country’s youths are the biggest losers of this failed system, and that it was disheartening that the government has run the economy that was once an envy of many nations.

He said this failure has driven the country’s citizens especially the youths out as a way to escape poverty, while some other citizens have gone as far as committing suicides as poverty became unbearable.

“Young people of our nations are amongst the brightest in the region and yet are being denied the right to raise their families in a decent way, neither are we permitted to lead, flourish with ideas nor to speak our mind for a better Zimbabwe.

“The country has just reached an embarrassing moment where one can throw a party for being able to get a passport or visa. It has gone that bad, while under normal economies getting a passport is just a usual thing,” he said.

Mawarire added that the regime has just mastered the act of using the country’s youths for political and selfish gains. He went on to say the government is even failing to offer welfare services to the elderly and vulnerable groups. He urged social groups and citizens to do everything within the confines of the law to demand accountability from the government.

Concluding the address Mawarire said he was aware of the notorious nature of the regime which manipulates and uses the legal to suppress citizens’ voices, and jokingly added; “You will hear from us or hear about us.” A statement indicating he understands the nature of the regime of creating news of them either by arresting them or otherwise.