Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter
FINANCE and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa is in Britain for high-level diplomatic talks aimed at mending ties between Harare and London. British Secretary for Foreign Affairs Mr Boris Johnson yesterday tweeted that he was excited to meet Minister Chinamasa.
He hinted that they had fruitful discussions. Minister Chinamasa was not available for comment yesterday, while permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Ambassador Joey Bimha said he was yet to receive a report on the meeting.
Mr Johnson said they discussed the need to turnaround the Zimbabwean economy, the upcoming elections and other issues.
“Good to welcome Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe’s Special Envoy to the UK to Foreign Office today,” he said. “Great hope and optimism for Zimbabwe’s future, we discussed need for free and fair elections this year and opportunities ahead of us.”
Since the inauguration of President Mnangagwa in November last year, Britain has shown interest in mending relations with Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa is also keen on building relations with Britain. Two British envoys have since been separately sent to Zimbabwe to meet President Mnangagwa.
Britain showed its interest in engaging Zimbabwe when it dispatched its envoy Mr Rory Stewart to Harare to witness the swearing-in of President Mnangagwa in November last year. Mr Stewart was Britain’s Minister of State for Africa.
Mr Stewart has since been replaced by Ms Harriet Baldwin, who visited Zimbabwe early this month as a special envoy of British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Ms Baldwin met President Mnangagwa where they discussed several bilateral issues to do with the new dispensation in Zimbabwe. Britain also sent its permanent under-secretary in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mr Simon McDonald to Harare.