Zimbabwe has to deal with its cash problem first before inviting Zimbabweans to return home, a researcher with one of South Africa’s think tanks Derek Matyszak told News 24.
"The market is pretty open, the problem is finding investments that produce saleable commodities and are not just infrastructure projects. And when a company sells the produce how does it get its money out of the country when there are too few US dollars in the system and people are being paid in cyber money?, that is the question that is worrisome," said Matyszak.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been calling on both Zimbabweans in the diaspora and foreign investors to come to the country which he says is now open for business.
One consortium has already invested in the National Railways of Zimbabwe and some have expressed interested in reviving the national airline Air Zimbabwe.
According to News24 Zimbabwe's consul general Henry Mukonoweshuro told expatriates recently that they should return to Zimbabwe and help the new dispensation in rebuilding the country.
"As we meet today, in the new dispensation as we called it since last November, the government of Zimbabwe is very proud. We, as the representatives of the government of Zimbabwe are very proud to say as you toil, as you make names in these foreign lands, you should now start looking north of the Limpopo. As the President always says, his mantra – Zimbabwe is now open for business," Mukonoweshuro said.
Matyszak of the Institute of Security Studies warned that it would be premature to call Zimbabweans back home, as there were few jobs and no infrastructure in the southern African country right now.
"There is no point in heeding the call to come home, until there are jobs. Jobs first, return second…people returning without jobs will cause social unrest," he said.
He said that even those who were returning with intentions to invest in the country, could also face challenges due to the country's cash shortages.
"Investors won't come until they know that there are enough US dollars in the system for them to get their money, but there will not be enough US dollars in the system until investors come and start generating it," Matyszak said.
Deputy Finance Minister Terence Mukupe last week said Mnangagwa never promised to solve the cash crisis within 100 days and instead blamed former Finance Minister Tendai Biti for the current cash crisis saying he left only $217 in the coffers when he left in 2013.