UNGA: An opportunity to tell the Zimbabwean story

Tafara Shumba Correspondent
The 73rd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) currently in motion in the United States provides boundless opportunities for Zimbabwe to tell its story following the recent political transfiguration that gave birth to a new dispensation, now commonly referred to as the Second Republic.

The newly-elected leader of the Republic of Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa has made his maiden appearance at the intergovernmental organisation following his recent election as Head of State and Government in a free, fair, transparent and credible harmonised election.

The President is expected to explain to the world how he was democratically elected in the July 30 polls despite unproven contestation from the main opposition party, the MDC-Alliance.

However, the President will be preaching to the converted as the 193-member multi-purpose organisation witnessed the democratic electoral process which ushered in President Mnangagwa as the second executive President of Zimbabwe.

Spontaneous endorsements of the polls came from most of the observers.

The new dispensation has a new political thinking which the President will explain in his maiden speech this Wednesday. He is to explain to the world a myriad political reforms he is implementing.

During his interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, President Mnangagwa already hinted that his administration would adopt the Commonwealth parliamentary democracy approach, where the leader of the opposition is formally recognised.

This is a complete departure from the previous administration wherein there was a paucity of such formal recognition. It is everybody’s hope that the leader of the opposition will conduct himself in a manner that is commensurate with such recognition.

The world has heard President Mnangagwa’s gospel of peace and tranquillity which is in harmony with the UN’s objective of creating and maintaining international order.

Before he left for the US, President Mnangagwa swore in a seven-member commission of Inquiry into the violent protest that led to the unfortunate death of six people in Harare last month.

The setting up of the team, with highly regarded commissioners, should excite the international body as it shows President Mnangagwa’s commitment.

The inclusion of eminent people in the commission, again is indicative of the importance that the President attaches to the inquiry.

The President has not gone to the US for sightseeing and his trip will certainly pay dividend.

Unlike in the previous administration where the President went to such trips with a bloated entourage in tow, President Mnangagwa went with a lean but effective team.

The team, comprising the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya and a few other Government officials, has already convened a highly subscribed Zimbabwe Investor Forum, where the brand Zimbabwe was marketed. Investors were apprised of what Zimbabwe offers and hopefully the American investors will hasten to grab the opportunities on offer.

Zimbabwe has opened up for business to all interested investors. Instead of looking exclusively east, there is now a paradigm shift where the country looks everywhere without necessarily neglecting its all-weather friend, China.

The investment environment has been significantly value-added through the amendment of laws such as the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act which were inimical to investors.

President Mnangagwa has a vision of building a middle-income economy by 2030, thus he is not lost to the fact that such a vision needs international cooperation to come to fruition.

Therefore, his speech on Wednesday will be a complete departure from his predecessor, whose speeches at such fora had become characteristically antagonistic. He is going to undo the entrenched negative perception that the world had on Zimbabwe under the former president.

He will preach the gospel of re-engagement. In his own words soon after landing in the US, the President said: “I am here to share our story of a nation reinvigorated, a hope reborn and a dream renewed. I am proud to represent you all and I am proud to represent the new Zimbabwe.”

Indeed, Zimbabweans are expecting their President to renew their hope.

Gone are the days when Zimbabweans lined-up at the airport upon the return of the President to thank him for hauling the West over the coals.

This time around, Zimbabweans want to receive a bagful of investment deals and memoranda of understanding.

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