Is it time to go home?

Zimbabweans call it the "Diaspora" - the flight of its citizens to neighbouring states and even further afield to such countries as Britain and Australia to escape their country's collapse.



There are no accurate figures of the numbers involved, but it is estimated that more than three million people, from a population of 12 million, have left Zimbabwe in the past decade as inflation spiralled into the trillions of percent and unemployment rose to 94 percent.



Money earned by those in the diaspora - estimated to be in excess each year of Zimbabwe's best ever annual tobacco harvest, once the primary foreign currency earner - has been remitted to relatives at home.



The demise of Zimbabwe's economy - at one time the region's largest after South Africa - and the skills that drove it, are but some of the consequences. Incidents of xenophobia have increased in the region, and a cholera epidemic that has killed thousands is said to have its epicentre in Zimbabwe.



A political agreement which led to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai being sworn in as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February, is seen as a watershed moment and carries with it the expectation of expatriates returning home to begin the task of rebuilding a shattered country.



IRIN spoke to Zimbabweans in three neighbouring countries - Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa - and asked: Is it time to go home?



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