the sunday news
Economic Focus with H.E. President ED Mnangagwa
new global political order
The world is rapidly restructuring and realigning towards a new, multi-polar global political order. For this, all means including war, intrusive extra-territorial legislation, coercive diplomacy and outright destabilization are being used. Africa is at greatest risk of these, as this sequence develops amid the fog of war and the growing threats of nuclear holocaust.
additional regional law
Our recent African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, addressed this alarming turn in global affairs, including the upcoming conflict in Eastern Europe, which increasingly threatens global peace and security. The summit also discussed gross attempts by the United States to control our continent through extraterritorial law. The US “Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act” seeks to empower the US to implement intrusive and coercive diplomacy and policing in Africa and, worst of all, calls it “a threat to natural resources and extraction of resources” on our continent. Allows monitoring of industries with This is unprecedented.
aim to control a continent
In addition, the act gives the US government the power to “hold accountable the Russian Federation and African governments and their officials who, in the view of the United States government, have aided in the passage of Russia’s “malign influence and activities” in Africa.” are participants. . Such “malicious activities” include anything that the US government describes as attempts to:
(i) “manipulating African governments and their policies as well as public opinion and the voting preferences of African populations and diaspora groups, including those in the US; and
(ii) invest in, engage in, or otherwise control strategic sectors in Africa, such as mining and other forms of natural resource extraction and exploitation, military bases and other security cooperation agreements, and information and communications technology. Both provisions disproportionately protect against and damage the notion of equality of sovereign nations, regardless of size or hemispherical setting.
ZDERA, a foreshadowing
Zimbabwe is already a victim of such illegal, extra-territorial legislation as ZDERA, which is now becoming a foreshadowing for the entire African continent. It seems that the US control policy in our country goes beyond itself and only the Russian Federation; It also extends to the People’s Republic of China. Recently, we saw US Senators asking their incoming Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms. Pamela Tremont, how she intends to challenge Chinese activities in Zimbabwe! We do not think this is the prudent way to handle our bilateral relations.
protect our national interests
Against such threats, it is of utmost importance that Zimbabwe develops rapidly by securing itself and its interests in this rapidly changing, often hostile, global order. New alliances are being formed; Old rules are being rewritten or completely replaced by new rules, which are not always just and fair, especially for small, weak states endowed with rich resources. We have to be prepared, lest we be left behind, or too easily dominated in emerging conflicts and often hostile alliances.
expanding our diplomatic footprint
To safeguard our interests, we must deepen and broaden our global diplomatic footprint, starting here on our African continent. We must never forget that during our struggles as a people, both before and after independence, Africa has always been our strongest defense, and continues to be our home. I am glad that the Sister Federal Republic of Ethiopia is preparing to re-open its chancery in our country, after being closed a few years ago when that sister country was going through challenges. Ethiopia is important to Zimbabwe and the whole of Africa; We celebrate the return of peace to a key African country that has historically been a symbol of African independence and our continental unity. The Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union, AU, was launched in 1963 in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Since then, it has remained the seat of our continental body, the AU. For Zimbabwe, Ethiopia was a staunch ally who supported our liberation struggle. After independence, Ethiopia helped us rebuild and Africanize our aviation sector, including the training of our Air Zimbabwe pilots.
New Chancery for Equatorial Guinea
As I write, our MEA assessment team has completed its mission to Equatorial Guinea. I paid a state visit to the sister republic earlier this year, during which several agreements were signed to deepen our bilateral ties. We will open a full-fledged embassy in an oil-rich African country with which we have full-fledged relations. Once the arrangements are finalized, my counterpart, President Nguema Mbasogo will respond to my state visit. In the meantime, we will be hosting the President of Senegal, His Excellency Macky Sall, who has been flown to Bulawayo to open our Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, ZITF.
close ties with Belarus
Further afield, similar missions have culminated in visits to Belarus and Pakistan. We will soon open embassies in both the countries. The Belarusian leader, President Lukashenko, was in our country earlier this year, in response to my invitation for us to pay him a state visit. This followed my first visit to Belarus as President of Zimbabwe in January 2018. Belarus has been and will remain a solid partner in our economic development, especially in the agricultural and mining sectors. Our ZMDC received earthmoving equipment from Belarus after a visit to that country as Vice President under the First Republic. Our program of modernization and mechanization of Zimbabwe’s agriculture has been largely driven by the Republic of Belarus. Now is the time to upgrade our presence in that strategic country by opening a full chancery.
Establish diplomatic base in Pakistan
On the other hand, Pakistan played a key role in setting up our Air Force Base of Zimbabwe (AFZ) soon after independence. Not many Zimbabweans know that an entire squadron of our jet fighters was blown up by Rhodesian airmen stationed at the then Thornhill Airbase, now Josiah Tungamirai Airbase, Gweru, in the early days of our independence. As if this were not enough, efforts to Africanize our air force by integrating our freedom fighters trained as air force pilots in different countries were also frustrated by the white command, which was then exclusively running the air force. Were. It was then that we turned to the Republic of Pakistan for our assistance, which included enlisting a senior officer, Air Marshal Daud Pota, who became the first commander of our nascent air force after independence. The officers stayed with us until our commanders, especially the late General Solomon Mujuru and the late Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai, who eventually took over from the Pakistanis, completed their training. Since then, our two air forces have maintained a close relationship, which includes training of our airmen, technicians on equipment and in other areas related to security. Now we feel that this relationship has matured enough that there is a need to open a full-fledged Chancery in Islamabad.
I am glad that our Ministry of External Affairs and International Trade has completely transformed itself to meet the complex demands of transactional diplomacy. Increasingly and as a result, economic issues now loom large in their dealings. Our two-pronged policy of engagement and redeployment has given the Ministry ample scope to profitably negotiate both new frontiers and old territories. Even countries as far away as Jamaica and Latvia now seek closer ties with us, unlike a few years ago almost all EU countries favor and move towards friendly relations with us. We are committed to the policy of being the friend of all and the enemy of none.
Middle East and Persia
In the Middle East and Persia, we continue to make significant inroads. In addition to our excellent relations with the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar, we will soon announce new diplomatic initiatives with regard to Saudi Arabia. Very soon, I will pay a state visit to Iran, a Persian country with which we have long-standing diplomatic relations.
Reconnecting US, UK
In both the United States and the United Kingdom, redeployment continues. At the end of last year, our Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade participated in the USA-Africa Summit. This was the first time that such an invitation had been extended to Zimbabwe. We hope that the administration there is beginning to see that the relationship between us must be re-established, leaving behind unfair and undesirable punitive measures that do not serve our mutual interests. In early May, I will attend the coronation of King Charles III, again adding a positive chapter to our bilateral relationship with the United Kingdom.
Foreign Observer for 2023
Sometime this year, we will have our own harmonious general elections. As I write, everything is being done to ensure that everyone who wants to vote in the upcoming elections is facilitated. Our elections will be free and fair and will be held in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Once I announce the dates for the harmonized elections, the government will formally invite foreign observers. We see the elections as another platform to strengthen and advance our global diplomacy, as well as to reaffirm our commitment to international principles on democracy. However, we will not accept undue interference in our electoral processes, which must remain sovereign.
a fair and just global order
We never tire of seeking global friendship and working for global peace, advocating a fair and just global order in which all states are equal, follow the same rules, and in which any and all misunderstandings are resolved through peaceful means. is done. In fact, the United Nations Charter calls on all nations to do so.