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30 heads of State console Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter
04 Apr 2019 at 06:50hrs | Views
More than 30 Heads of State and Government from across the world have sent messages of sympathy to President Mnangagwa following the Cyclone Idai disaster, a development seen as a sign that Zimbabwe's engagement and re-engagement policy is paying off.

Some of the Presidents contributed varying amounts of money while some pledged other forms of assistance towards the disaster which has left 268 people confirmed dead.

Critically, President Mnangagwa's administration is being trusted with resources, with various donations and assistance from countries and aid agencies being channelled directly to Government, something that did not happen previously.

The Presidents of Kenya (Uhuru Kenyatta), Tanzania (John Magufuli), Namibia (Hage Geingob) and Mauritius Acting Prime Minister Ivan Leslie Collendavelloo have all pledged to assist.  Among the leaders who have sent messages of sympathy include Queen Elizabeth (England), Angela Merkel (Germany), Prokopios Pavlopoulos (Greece), Klaus Iohannis (Romania), Stefan Lofven (Sweden), King Philippe (Belgium), Recep Erdogan (Turkey), Alexander Lukashenko (Belarus), Narendra Modi (India), Carl Gustaf (Venezuela) and Kim Yong Nam (Korea). African Presidents such as Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca (Cape Verde), Julius Bio (Sierra Leone), Joao Lourenco (Angola) and Macky Sall (Senegal) have also sent mesages. Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications) Mr George Charamba yesterday said there was a link between the condolence messages and contributions with President Mnangagwa's engagement and re-engagement drive.

Western countries who were hostile to Zimbabwe during the First Republic are among a list of those commiserating with President Mnangagwa.

Mr Charamba, who is also the Presidential spokesperson, said specific interactions President Mnangagwa has had with explicit countries as part of the engagement and re-engagement policy were paying dividends.

"Before the new dispensation most Governments were in the habit of either commiserating or congratulating with the people of Zimbabwe and not with the Government of Zimbabwe," he said.

"This is a major departure suggesting a mellowing attitude of the international community. They used to send messages without any reference to the Government but this time you will find that communication is coming through Government. This means that there is recognition that there is a legitimate State which is standing in Zimbabwe. This is a clear sign that the re-engagement policy is paying off."  

As Zimbabwe transitions under the Second Republic, President Mnangagwa has focused on engaging with new countries as well as reengaging with countries that have been hostile to former President Mugabe's administration.

Countries engaged so far have extended a hand of friendship and deals benefiting both parties have been either concluded or are in the pipeline.

Mr Charamba said apart from showing the thawing of relations and legitimate issues, the monetary contributions from fellow Presidents and various organisations marked the return of trust. "Another critical point is that before the new dispensation, the State was not trusted with resources," he said.

"Money was channelled through donor organisations but now it is being channelled directly to Government and the difference is there for everyone to see."

Chinese President Xi Jinping has donated more than US$800 000 while South Korean President Moon Jae-in chipped in with US$100 000.

The American Government has weighed in with about US$2,5 million while countries like the United Arab Emirates have assisted with donations together with several development partners.

Mr George Elombi, the executive vice president of the Africa Export-Import Bank weighed in with US$600 000. Business tycoon Mr Aliko Dangote has also sent a condolence message to President Mnangagwa.

Source - chronicle