Harare, Zimbabwe: A Case Report of Refugees in Towns

The author of the Harare report’s interest in return migration to her homeland, Zimbabwe, stemmed from her desire to return home, knowledge of other people trickling back, and research that showed that most migrants have a desire to return home. The yearning for return increased after the “peaceful coup” in November 2017 when Robert Mugabe, president since independence in 1980, was ousted, and Zimbabweans thought the ongoing violence and economic chaos would abate and conditions would improve. In this report, the author explores voluntary return to Zimbabwe, the reasons people return, returnees’ impact on the city of Harare, and their experiences of reintegration through rediscovering their culture, recreating social ties, accessing jobs and citizenship, and developing a sense of belonging again.