25 January 2012
THE International Organisation for Migration will soon embark on another scheme aimed at bringing professionals in the Diaspora back home for short periods. This follows a successful pilot project involving health professionals and university lecturers.
In an interview, IOM migration and development advisor Mr Knowledge Mareyanadzo said under the pilot project, they intended to reach out to 50 professionals but they ended up bringing more.
"It (the initiative) was a huge success and up to now we are still getting inquiries from the diasporans," he said.
Mr Mareyanadzo said the health professionals and university lecturers scheme requires those in the Diaspora to return home for about four weeks to obtain "hands-on" experience on the situation back here.
"We are in the process of mobilising resources and negotiating with development partners to scale up the project and extend our focus to other critical sectors, for example, education and engineering," said Mr Mareyanadzo.
He said because of the success of the pilot project, the second phase will see the initiative extended to other critical professions.
However, health professionals who remained in the country during the economic hardships are against the idea saying they should be rewarded for the hard work they did at the height of the brain drain in the health sector.
Health workers claim that IOM was paying professionals from the Diaspora thousands of dollars yet those who remained here were earning peanuts.
"We are angry because these professionals left the country at a time their services were needed leaving us with a high workload and no returns.
"We are saying it is our time now, why not reward us for a big job well done," said a Parirenyatwa-based doctor who preferred anonymity.
However, IOM denied paying the imported professionals more than what locals are currently getting.
Mr Mareyanadzo said those who come under the programme where being paid US$50 a day and not the alleged US$400.
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