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Zimbabwe sanctions fight gets major boost

by Staff reporter
25 Aug 2022 at 06:32hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE's re-engagement policy and the fight against sanctions received a major boost yesterday with incoming ambassadors from Brazil, Botswana, Turkey and Italy, who presented their credentials to President Mnangagwa, pledging to assist the country on that front.

This comes as the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa has opened up its doors to all nations through the engagement and re-engagement foreign policy, and in the process, won the support of progressive world nations for the West to unconditionally remove the unilateral sanctions that were imposed as punishment for the land reform programme.

Because of sanctions, the country has lost more than US$100 billion since 2001, something that has negatively impacted key sectors of health and education among others.

First to present his credentials at State House in Harare was incoming Brazilian envoy Mr Vilmar Rogeiro Coutinho Junior followed by Mrs Sara Sithabile from Botswana, Mrs Berna Kasnakli Versteden (Turkey) and Mr Umberto Malnati (Italy).

Botswana's Ambassador-designate Mrs Sithabile said she believes that a lot has been done between her country and Zimbabwe in terms of boosting social and economic co-operation.

"Zimbabwe has been experiencing restrictions of sanctions. We stand in solidarity with the whole region of SADC on that matter.

"From the last Commonwealth meeting in Rwanda, we believe that we are getting to a positive mood and very soon Zimbabwe will be part of the team of the Commonwealth. I believe and hope so," she said.

Mrs Sithabile said her mission is to turn Zimbabwe and Botswana into a global investment and trade centre of the region.

"I believe that we will be able to make it in our co-operation especially since Zimbabwe has signed quite a number of Memoranda of Understanding with Botswana that we will continue to work on especially in areas of research and building our skills," he said.

Mrs Sithabile also hoped for a lot of exchange programmes between the two countries as Zimbabwe is quite advanced in being a knowledge-based economy.

"Our bilateral relations will continue to grow our economies so that we will be able to be self-reliant especially in terms of food security.

"I understand that Zimbabwe has been hit hard by climate change, it is the same even at home and these are the issues that we are going to be deliberating and co-operating on further so that we can be able to stand as very reliant economies in the region as well as in Africa," she said.

Italy's incoming Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Malnati said the two nations enjoy cordial relations and made a commitment to strengthen them as much as possible.

"As for sanctions, we are working together with our partners to examine the whole situation and as you know things are getting better on this front in the last few years. I really hope it will work in this direction.

"The discussion with the President was very good and cordial. I really appreciate the meeting and the ceremony for the presentation of my credentials," he said.

New Brazil Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Rogeiro Coutinho Junior, who has been in the diplomatic service for 40 years with the current tenure being his sixth mission in Africa, said there is enormous potential for relations to develop further.

"The President gave me a very warm welcome to Zimbabwe and wished me success in my mission here. We are two countries which are very friendly to each other. Agriculture and the mining sector definitely have several opportunities that we can explore.

"I am sure with the co-operation of the Zimbabwean Government, we will be able to achieve good results in improving our relations. Not only in those two sectors but also in all sectors in general," he said.

Incoming Türkiye Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mrs Versteden, who has been in the diplomatic service for about 25 years, said this was her first posting in Africa and paid tribute to her predecessor whom she said has done great work in improving relations between the two nations.

"The current relations are excellent but I had a talk with the President that the level of our relations in terms of trade, culture, infrastructure, mining, and other areas like agriculture does not reflect the very good level of our relations.

"During my tenure, I will be trying to tap into that great potential for the benefit of our respective peoples so well. I will try to promote two-way trade between Türkiye and Zimbabwe," she said.

Mrs Versteden pledged to channel her energy to conclude some of the agreements that are on the table between the two countries.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Fredrick Shava and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ambassador James Manzou, attended the event.

Source - The Herald