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Mnangagwa gives ambassadors new orders

by Staff reporter
13 Nov 2022 at 17:29hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE's engagement and re-engagement drive has assumed new levels after President Mnangagwa yesterday met Zimbabwean Ambassadors accredited to foreign missions in a closed-door meeting at State House.

The diplomats are in the country as part of their annual retreat and have been touring some of the major projects being implemented by the Second Republic. Speaking to our Harare Bureau after the meeting, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Manzou said the President told diplomats that their re-engagement efforts should result in better relations with the community of nations, improved foreign investment and open new export markets for local products.

Ambassador Manzou said the meeting was also an opportunity for President Mnangagwa to give fresh commands to the diplomats on how to carry out their mandate at their various posts effectively.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade secretary Ambassador James Manzou

"It is important that once in a while His Excellency the President is able to give instructions and guidance to his ambassadors and this is what has happened today. The President did give clear instructions in terms of Zimbabwe's diplomacy based on pillars that you may already know. The pillar that Zimbabwe is a friend of all and enemy of none, the pillar of economic diplomacy.

Traditional diplomacy is no longer the main thrust, the main thrust is transactional economic diplomacy for us to bring in new investment as well as to increase exports."

Ambassador Manzou said there is abundant evidence that re-engagement is bearing fruit, with the country set to meet its target of achieving a US$7 billion export industry by 2023.

"The new approach of economic diplomacy is going on very well in the sense that we have a target of reaching US$7 billion in terms of exports by 2023 and if you look at the figures we are very much close to this figure. So, this is why our ambassadors must continue to do the good work so that by 2030 we can reach our target of US$14 billion in exports."

Dean of Zimbabwe's ambassadors and chief envoy to Ghana, Ambassador Kufa Chinoza said the ultimate goal of re-engagement is economic growth.

"Basically, the President was giving us directives on how we should operate from now on. He was actually re-emphasising what we were already doing and saying we should go back and continue the engagement and re-engagement and also to talk about the progress we are making in terms of growing the economy.

So far, I can say we have done very well, the examples that I can give are our people who have been elected to various international organisations. We are very happy, based on the projects that we visited during our stay here you can see that the economy is growing."

Ambassador Chinoza said a number of ambassadors have managed to bring investors in the country. Zimbabwe's chief envoy to Rwanda Ambassador Charity Manyeruke said the relations between Zimbabwe and Rwanda are excellent with the two countries having a total of 22 memoranda of understanding on economic co-operation.

"On energy, we have been cooperating with Rwanda since 2020. Zesa and Rwanda Energy Group (REG) have signed a memorandum of understanding which has culminated into a memorandum of agreements relating to various areas such as hydroelectric power generating, street lighting, metering and export of transformers to Rwanda.

We are expecting to have a loan facility of US$800 million as announced by President Mnangagwa.

"Under the exchange of human capital, Rwanda has received 154 teachers from Zimbabwe in various areas of expertise, particularly with regards to the training of teachers. But they are also looking at expanding, they are expecting to get 200 more teachers."

Zimbabwe's emissary to the US Ambassador Tadeous Chifamba said while the country is still under American sanctions, there was evidence that relations are improving.

"We continue to work on our bilateral relationship with the United States, in fact, my message which was at the instruction of His Excellency when I was deployed was that as Zimbabwe we are now in the New Dispensation where we want to be a friend to all and enemy to none. This is the message that we have taken to the United States to say that we should not confine our relationship to a very narrow area which is of democracy and human rights.

There is a lot more which defines our relationship than that small area. In fact, I always say to my hosts, the Americans that they have been practising democracy for 230 years and we are almost 42 years but we more or less find ourselves at the same spot of disputed elections."

The improvement in relations between Harare and Washington, said Ambassador Chifamba, has resulted in Zimbabwe being invited to the US-Africa summit.

"This is another opportunity to meet at official level, to meet at ministerial level with our delegation led by Ambassador Fredrick Shava for high-level engagements in the United States. We believe that this is a good opportunity.

The first summit was held in 2014 and Zimbabwe was not invited. This year we have been invited and it shows that there is some movement towards convergence in terms of our bilateral engagements."

Source - The Sunday News