Five newly-appointed ambassadors to Zimbabwe yesterday presented their credentials to President Mnangagwa and pledged to take advantage of the new dispensation in the country to strengthen bilateral relations.
The envoys who presented their credentials at State House were from Zambia, Sudan, Turkey, Egypt and Cuba.
Zambia’s new ambassador Mr Emmanuel Tawana Chenda said Zimbabwe had gone through a rebirth, which should see its relations with Zambia reaching higher levels.
“It is common knowledge to everybody that Zimbabwe and Zambia are Siamese twins and, therefore, it feels great to be in this country, especially at this particular time when there is this rebirth and great expectation under the new dispensation,” he said.
“Harare is the closest capital to Lusaka. Zambia and Zimbabwe were linked by rail, road and the time flight is less than an hour, meaning that if we are going to deal with issues of trade the way they should be, the automatic choice for trade for Zambia is Zimbabwe and the automatic choice for trade for Zimbabwe is Zambia.
“We have the tools and means while we ensure that this trade takes place for the betterment of our people.”
Mr Chenda added: “We want our borders to be facilities of enhancing trade, which will create economic development in both countries. Issues of One-Stop Border Post like Chirundu are a good thing, positive movement towards the direction of ensuring we promote trade.
“My engagement will be to ensure that there is massive trade between Zambia and Zimbabwe.”
Turkish ambassador Mr Hakan Kivanc said he was in Zimbabwe to strengthen bilateral relations through cooperation in various sectors.
“In our plan, we would like to have the Turkish airline (coming to Zimbabwe),” he said. “Secondly, we would like to contribute to all sectors from infrastructure to industry, from agriculture to tourism.
“In industry, textile is the leading area as well as agro-industry and mining. These are the areas that come into my mind.”
Cairo’s new representative in Harare Mr Mohamed Mostafa Ahmed Fahmy said he was optimistic the new dispensation would take Zimbabwe to greater heights.
“We have always enjoyed good political relations,” he said. “A lot of coordination has taken place all the time, but now we are seeking to develop the economic relations between the countries in areas of investments, real estate, textile, manufacturing and tourism.
“Whatever comparative advantage Egypt has, we will try to share it with our brothers here in Zimbabwe. I am very optimistic about the future of this great country.”
Sudanese ambassador Mr Abdelbagi Kabeir said his focus would be in exploring new areas of cooperation.
“We are not only friendly countries, but we are brothers and sisters,” he said. “We have to cooperate in all areas. We talked about cementing the already existing relations between our two countries.
“Right from the time of pre-independence, Sudan has always been present here and we believe that we are entering a new era whereby we expect to have cooperation in very strategic areas. We have a lot in common and we have had close cooperation. We are now willing to take those to a high level.”
Cuban ambassador Ms Carmelina Ramirez Rodriguez also presented her credentials at the ceremony witnessed by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo and his permanent secretary ambassador Joey Bimha.