Conflict & Justice

Going home to Zimbabwe

IM talks about leaving Zimbabwe in 2006: the idea was to go and take some time off for three months, and it turned into two months. During that time he's worked as a journalist in London. But when he decided to return, he found Zimbabwe that was very different. IM admitted he had some anxieties about going back: there's been so many changes since I left and to think that things have gotten worse, I don't know what to expect. (a lot of other things have changed as well. You brought back a lot of basic provisions that were not in short supply when you left, but this has also changed?) Absolutely. People tell me corn meal, cooking oil, flour can be hard to come by now. (Why are you going back now?) I've been away long enough. (Were you a working journalist when you were in Zimbabwe? And what was that like?) I was, and it was never easy, but we got by. (Do you feel as if you'll have to stay below the radar?) It's difficult, Harare is not a huge city. (Does your family know you're coming back?) I want to surprise them. (Do you plan on staying as a journalist?) I'll find out what I can do. It's difficult to come from a situation when you don't need to be extra careful with what you say or do and to reenter into such a situation. It'll take some adjusting which is said, because I should be most relaxed at home. (Anybody try to talk you out of it?) Yes, but I also have some fellow Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who are jealous because they can't go back home. (Are you prepared for the fact that your family's life might be worse than when you left?) It is worse�there are power and water shortages. But this is my home. It's been a long time since I've been home but I think we're experiencing the Zimbabwean economy adapting, and hopefully it's not a collapse.

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