Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Germany has pledged to open lines of credit for Zimbabwe and deepen bilateral relations as the international community warms up to President Mnangagwa’s administration following free, fair and credible elections held on July 30. The commitment was made by Germany Economic Cooperation Minister Dr Gerd Muller, the first German minister to visit Zimbabwe in 20 years, after he paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa Offices in Harare yesterday.
As part of formalising the relations, the two countries agreed to establish a Joint Permanent Commission to explore various fields of cooperation.
Addressing delegates to the sixth annual agribusiness conference at the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday, President Mnangagwa confirmed the development and urged the business community to prepare for the coming opportunities.
“We had an hour-long meeting with Economic Cooperation Minister from Germany,” he said.
“They are going to open relations and lines of credit with us, so it is important for our people to take advantage of these opportunities that are coming.”
Relations between Zimbabwe and Germany took a downturn following the imposition of sanctions by the European Union after the bloc sided with Britain in its dispute with Zimbabwe over land reforms in the country.
Addressing journalists soon after Dr Muller met President Mnangagwa in the morning, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said the Germans had committed to assist Zimbabwe rebuild its economy.
“They met His Excellency who gave them the whole situation of the political environment in Zimbabwe and where the rest of Zimbabwe was going from a historical perspective and for certain issues to do with farmers’ compensation, particularly where Germans were involved, but above all this delegation has made a commitment to support this new Government as it moves forward to rebuild the economy,” he said.
Minister Moyo said such support was important for Zimbabwe as Germany was a major donor to various sectors of the country’s economy in the past.
“This is a very critical and a critical milestone for the support of the new administration of the Second Republic because Germany, as you are aware, is a critical bilateral creditor to Zimbabwe and it is a country which is critical for the financial capital and as a source of capital for Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Historically, it has been the major source of funding for various capacities in the corporate sector and financial sector.”
Minister Moyo said Dr Muller congratulated President Mnangagwa on the manner in which the July 30 elections were conducted.
“The Minister of Economic Cooperation came to Zimbabwe as a special person, as a special envoy, firstly to congratulate the President for successfully holding a highly recognised and transparent plebiscite which is now being recognised internationally,” he said.
“Why? It is because they have accepted and congratulated the President for allowing the whole democratic processes to take place and with patience even to allow for the challenges and the constitutionalism which was reflected in public by yourselves (the media) in terms of the coverage of the constitutional process in terms of the Constitutional Court which then made its determination.
“Finally, that His Excellency’s statement on the inauguration was far reaching to the international community and he made a commitment to a lot of political and economic reforms which were going to be the bedrock of economic development of this country.”