Thursday 4 March 2021


PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has charged his representatives to the US, the UN and the EU to pursue economic diplomacy, re-engagement and re-affirm relations as the country is a friend to all and an enemy to none.

The President yesterday briefed the country’s Ambassador Designates Amon Mutembwa, who is going to the EU, Mr Stuart Comberbach, Switzerland UN, and Mr Tedeous Chifamba who will represent the country to the US in Washington on their respective missions.

The trio, who are veteran diplomats, pledged to pursue President Mnangagwa re-engagement policy and sell brand Zimbabwe as they embark on their new missions.

The deployment of the veteran diplomats comes at a time when Zimbabwe is reaching out to all nations including those that imposed economic sanctions on the country almost two decades ago as punishment for the land reform programme.

In an interview after a closed door meeting with the President, Ambassador Mutembwa, who will also cover Belgium and Luxembourg said he will pursue both bilateral and multilateral engagements.

“He (the President) noted issues related to the renewal of sanctions, the specific areas that were covered by the European Union and also encouraged engagement so that we look into those issues to alleviate the challenges we are facing.

He also pointed at opportunities that are ripe in our conversation with the European Union. Obviously, conversations are going to go beyond bilateral dimensions to multilateral dimensions. We are looking at areas of convergence. We are looking at more favourable relations between Zimbabwe and Europe,” he said.

Ambassador Chifamba, who comes in a few days after the Joe Biden administration renewed the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe, said he will use his time in Washington to make it clear that Zimbabwe is not an enemy to the US.

“The President has said very clearly that we want to be a friend to all countries and an enemy to none. He has given us instructions to pursue economic diplomacy and look at ways that can benefit Zimbabwe and the US.

“We are not really surprised that the US has renewed sanctions on Zimbabwe. The administration in Washington is new. Now we have an opportunity to work hard over the next two years to ensure that we bring our relations to new heights and that we refocus on mutually beneficial interests. We have a lot to offer to the US and we believe the US has a lot to offer to us,” he said.

Ambassador Comberbach said he is on a mission to tell the world about the Second Republic’s commitment to reforms.

“We were not really surprised by the renewal of sanctions by the US. The indications from Washington were that they had certain concerns. We didn’t expect those sanctions to be removed at this stage.

The disappointment is that they have failed to acknowledge the extensive reforms that have been made by the Second Republic at an economic level, legislative level, a number of reforms have been made. We believe we have made a lot of progress. The President is absolutely committed to engagement, re-engagement and re-affirming existing relations. He is committed to the reform process,” said Ambassador Comberbach. 

While addressing the Zanu-PF Politburo meeting on Wednesday, the President made it clear that Zimbabwe will never compromise on national interests and principles of Pan-Africanism.

He said the country continues to advance its engagement and re-engagement Policy. The President added that the newly sworn-in Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Dr Fredrick Shava, will drive the country’s “quest to embrace and be embraced by as many countries in the comity of nations as possible, while facilitating the attraction of global capital and promoting trade”. Herald


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