Interest in Zim Intensifies – Sb Moyo

Zimbabwe is deriving tremendous mileage from Government’s ongoing re-engagement drive as interest in the country has intensified across the globe, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Retired Lieutenant-General Dr Sibusiso Moyo has said. Addressing the Zimbabwean Diaspora at a four-hour interactive luncheon at Zimbabwe House over the weekend, Dr Moyo, who is here at the invitation of British secretary of State Boris Johnson, described his meeting with his British counterpart as “superb”.

Relations between Harare and London plummeted in 1997 in the wake of the Labour government’s refusal to honour obligations entered into with the Tory administration of Margaret Thatcher who had committed Britain to fund land reforms in Zimbabwe.

Over the next two decades, there was to be no high-level engagement between Harare and London, making Dr Moyo’s invitation for interactions on the sidelines of the just-ended Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting a milestone towards rapprochement.

“I have been here on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and I was invited by my counterpart Right Honourable Boris Johnson whom I had a session with yesterday (Friday) and I can tell you it was a superb session

“It basically signified the entry of Zimbabwe into the family of nations, and as a consequence of that I also extended, in fact we had already extended, an invitation to the Commonwealth to even come and observe our elections,” Dr Moyo said.

He told the gathering that Zimbabwe would rejoin the Commonwealth once the requisite processes had been completed

Mr Robert Mugabe’s government pulled Zimbabwe from the club of mostly former British colonies on December 7, 2003 in protest over the country’s indefinite suspension from the councils of the Commonwealth at CHOGM Abuja as relations between Harare and London reached their nadir.

“I can assure you that the meeting I had yesterday (Friday) with Honourable Boris Johnson and other foreign ministers from the Commonwealth, they actually declared a lot of solidarity, support, encouragement and actually welcomed Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth, but we are saying as the executive, as people who lead the people, we do not want to run as the executive and join the Commonwealth and then leave the people behind. We want to make sure that we are together with the people, we are in it with the people because we are a listening dispensation. What you want is what we will do.”

Turning to the re-engagement drive that took him to New York and will see him head for Brussels after London, Dr Moyo said the campaign had borne tremendous results.

“Let me say that the impact so far of our thrust of rapprochement and re-engagement which we have been undertaking as the new dispensation has produced tremendous results.

“In fact I have always said that it has generated serious interest in Zimbabwe from all sectors of the globe to an extent that the reason we want you is for you to be in Zimbabwe or to bring them (investors) so that you become the link between these investors and those who are expressing interest in Zimbabwe.”

Apart from hosting envoys from global powers, among them all-weather friends such as China and Russia as well as erstwhile foes like Britain and the United States since assuming office in November last year, the new Government has also locked down over US$3billion in investment commitments as President Mnangagwa’s investment pitch that Zimbabwe is open for business resonates in global capitals.

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