FOUR ambassadors yesterday presented their credentials to President Mnangagwa pledging greater economic cooperation as well as embarking on an international campaign for debt cancellation in the wake of the economic turmoil that has been caused by Covid-19.
The four diplomats, from Tanzania, South Korea, Egypt and the Vatican presented their credentials at State House against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic that has ushered a new normal characterised by virtual meetings and limited human contact and movement to curb the spread of the virus. First to present credentials was the Tanzanian envoy, followed by those from the Vatican, Egypt and South Korea.
Despite the shadow cast by the pandemic that has killed tens of thousands of people worldwide, Zimbabwe under President Mnangagwa has continued pursuing its re-engagement policy as well as its Vision 2030.
And in the wake of the global contagion, the Holy See Ambassador Archbishop Paolo Rudelli, the representative of Pope Francis, said the Covid-19 pandemic should result in the creation of a just and fairer global community where the rights of all nations, great or small are respected including a debt relief on developing countries like Zimbabwe.
“Pope Francis is following with great attention what is happening in Zimbabwe and has also assured Zimbabwe of his prayers. He has also noted the 40th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s Independence. We are aware that at the moment the people are suffering because of many reasons and in this context the Church is helping, first of all in giving the spirit of support because God is what we need more but also with assisting people in need.
“The Pope sent during these past weeks some contribution in cash and kind to Zimbabwe in order to cope with this pandemic. We also want to reassure that the Holy See is very engaged in the international arena in order to promote a more inclusive approach; to promote debt relief for developing countries so as to make sure that these difficulties that the world is facing result in a fairer and more just world economic order and a better society,” he said.
On the other hand, the new Tanzanian ambassador to Zimbabwe Prof Emmanuel Mbennah said the two countries, that have strong political ties predating Zimbabwe’s independence, will enhance economic co-operation in order to improve the welfare of their respective citizens.
The Tanzanian ambassador, whose country achieved a middle income status yesterday — a goal that is being vigorously pursued by President Mnangagwa under the Second Republic — said through hard work and determination, Zimbabwe can realise its Vision 2030.
“It’s a very special day for the two countries. We discussed among other things to expand new ways in economic collaboration because we have very strong, very high level political ties. We would like to expand, the economic ties, tourism and education, various platforms to the same levels as it is with the political aspect,” said the Ambassador.
Through President Mnangagwa’s Open for Business campaign, Zimbabwe is opening investment opportunities to international and local investors who were previously reluctant to bring their money to Zimbabwe in order to transform the country into an upper middle class economy by 2030.
The new Egyptian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Mahmoud Amir, who described relations between Zimbabwe and Egypt as “excellent” said political ties between the two countries should now be strengthened in order to enhance economic cooperation.
“I stressed that we have excellent political relations between our countries, we are in good standing in the African Union, and we are always cooperating. On the economic front, this is what my President Mohamed Sisi and President Mnangagwa have directed us to work on and transform the excellent political relations into economic relations,” he said.
With many nations now taking note of the New Dispensation mantra that “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” and its international re-engagement drive, incoming South Korean ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Do Bong Kae said the two countries have an opportunity to exploit their human resources wealth to the maximum benefit of their general populace.
“We are very satisfied with the relations of our two countries. Zimbabwe has a high level of human resources and Korea also has one of the highest human resources in Asia. We can share our experiences for economic development. Will do my best for my country to share experiences with Zimbabwe in every area. We will stay strong with Zimbabwe to fight Covid-19,” said Mr Kae.
President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement initiative with all world nations has seen countries, including those who were hostile to Zimbabwe, teeming back to invest and strengthen diplomatic ties.