Zimbabwe has a long history of international migration, which dates back to the pre-colonial period. Over the years, the migration trends have evolved in scope and importance as the country has become more and more a source, transit and destination country for migrants.
The macro socio-economic challenges Zimbabwe experienced at the turn of the millennium contributed to massive brain drain as Zimbabweans emigrated within the region and overseas in search of “greener pastures”. Furthermore the country saw an upsurge in cross border migration, irregular migration, human trafficking cases and mixed migration flows including refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, primarily fleeing conflict, poverty, and serious economic challenges from other countries.
Over 580 000 irregular migrants were returned to Zimbabwe from Botswana and South Africa between 2006 and 2015. This underscored the magnitude of the challenge of irregular migration in the country.
The migration situation in Zimbabwe requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to better manage migration in a coherent and coordinated manner for Zimbabwe to derive benefits from this inevitable, necessary and desirable phenomenon.