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Friday, March 31, 2023

Zimbabwe’s diplomats receive fresh marching orders

By Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

ZIMBABWE’s ambassadors accredited to various missions have met with President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House, Harare this Saturday, with discussions centred on the role of the envoys in spurring economic diplomacy as the country works to increase export earnings.

Traditionally, Zimbabwe’s top envoys serving at various missions meet with the President every year, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the diplomats had gone for three years without having the crucial meetings.

This Saturday, the tradition was re-ignited as the ambassadors met with the President in a closed-door meeting held at the State House.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador James Manzou, said the meeting was key as it gave the envoys a platform to get renewed guidance on their expected roles in pursuing economic diplomacy.

Zimbabwe has a target to increase export receipts and likewise, the ambassadors have a role to play.

“This is a very key meeting where the ambassadors can meet the chief diplomat as they are given fresh guidance by the President who appoints them. They were given clear instructions in Zimbabwe’s diplomacy, remember we say Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none. Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, so the important type of diplomacy now is transactional diplomacy,” said Ambassador Charity Manyeruke, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Rwanda.

The engagement and re-engagement drive is paying off, as explained by Professor Manyeruke.

“ZESA and Rwanda e-energy group signed an MOU which has culminated in agreements relating to various agreements such as hydro-electric power generators, street lighting, metering as well as transformers. We are exporting our transformers to Rwanda, that is a big cooperation there. We are, as you are aware, expecting to have a loan facility of US$800 million, so there is a lot of activity going on in terms of that project. It is just the beginning. We are looking forward to more,” she said.

The ambassadors are upbeat on the economic achievements under the Second Republic and are clear of their role as enunciated by the Dean of the Diplomats, Ambassador Kufa Chinoza.

“We have to bring in the investors. It’s our role to bring in the investors,” he said.

During the diplomats’ retreat, which began two weeks ago, the envoys visited several key developmental projects being implemented under the Second Republic, among them the Manhize Steel Plant, the New Parliament Building and the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

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