Remarks at the community event on 20th February 2020.
Hon’ble Minister of State, Women and Child Welfare, Education (Primary & Higher Education) and Pilgrimage
Senior officials of the Government of Gujarat and the member of the accompanying delegation representing 15 Universities in Gujarat
Elders of the Community
Ladies & Gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to be here at this community event. This is very rare occasion and privilege in Zimbabwe that the Indian community gets the chance to meet high dignitary from India. The last opportunity I recall was during the visit of Hon’ble Vice president Shri Venkaiah Naiduji in November 2018. I am particularly happy that this time I have this fortune of having a Minister from the State of Gujarat where most of our community in Zimbabwe originated from. I would like to thank the community for happily agreeing to organize this event for Hon’ble Minister.
Madam Minister, Presently Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) in Zimbabwe is estimated at around 9000. A large number of Indians migrated to Zimbabwe towards the end of nineteenth century and continued till the end of the twentieth century
While 80% of the community hails from Gujarat, there are quite a few members from Goa, Utter Pardesh and other states as well. While most of the community members have successfully engaged in business, trade and manufacturing, there are many who were/are successful professionals. At least three members of the community have risen to the position of Supreme Court judges (retired and serving). The community has produced ambassadors, professors, Doctors, lawyers, Senators, members of the Politburo and Central Committee of ZANU-PF. Currently, Mr. Raju Modi is an elected member of the ruling Zanu PF from Bulawayo Province. He is the first Person of Indian Origin to be appointed as the Deputy Minister in the Govt. of Zimbabwe.
During the period of freedom struggle and fight against Rhodesian regime many members of the community had fought for justice and freedom of Zimbabwe and its people. Several names have been recorded and honoured for their stellar service to the nation.
The community is well spread out in many towns of Zimbabwe though its main concentration is in the cities of Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare. The community is hard working and enterprising. They built their own places of worship, schools, colleges and celebrate their religious functions with zeal and enthusiasm. The community has assimilated well in the country of their adoption and Zimbabwe Govt has generally been appreciative of the community’s contribution.
Madam, members of the community in Zimbabwe have taken advantage of the outreach programme by GoI and many are OCI Card holders.
Indian Expat community which numbers between 450-500, have equally done well. Several expat professionals are working in key industries, giving managerial and technical support. They have played vital role in sustaining institutions and the economy of the country.
I present to you madam, the hard working, peace-loving and vibrant Indian community in Zimbabwe.
I thank you
Embassy of India, Harare, Zimbabwe