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Millions leaving Zimbabwe every year

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Over 900 000 Zimbabweans have emigrated from the country to international destinations between 2020 to 2021, the government said. During a post-Cabinet media briefing, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa cited family matters, pursuance of education and training, and search for employment opportunities as some of the reasons for the mass exodus.

Statistics show that 84% of the emigrants were between the ages of 15 to 39. “Males were generally dominant across all age groups, save for the 65-year-old and above. The highest numbers of emigrants were reported between 2020 and 2021. South Africa is the major destination of emigrants, at 85%, followed by Botswana (5%) and United Kingdom (3%). At the time of departure, 64% of emigrants had completed lower secondary education, while 8% had completed upper secondary education.”

“Harare province had the highest number of lifetime in-migrants (1 037 907), while Manicaland province had the largest number of lifetime out-migrants (586 930).”

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Zimbabwe is going through two migration crises at the same time. As statistics show, there is massive rural to urban migration with Harare receiving the bulk of these people. The continued influx has put pressure on decent housing and other amenities. This has led to the sprouting of unregistered, undesignated, and unserviced housing structures. Many have been duped by housing cooperatives. Sometimes housing has been politicized in order for political parties to gain supporters. Local authorities (councilors) have also made a killing out of the desperate situation.

With a huge population scrounging for the few job opportunities available, many have left the country. The majority of Zimbabweans leaving are below the age of 40. Highly skilled citizens in the areas of health, engineering, education, and business have left leaving a massive skills gap. The government has bemoaned brain drain but without measures in place to retain the skills, millions more will leave each year.

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