Mabasa Sasa in ASTANA, Kazakhstan
President Mnangagwa is on his way home after a meeting this morning with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan in the capital of Astana.
The meeting has laid a foundation for a productive relationship between Zimbabwe and the emerging industrial and petrochemical giant Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev invited President Mnangagwa to the Presidential Palace to discuss areas of possible co-operation, and after their meeting the two leaders were optimistic they would have a mutually beneficial partnership.
President Mnangagwa arrived in Astana on Sunday to round off a four-nation tour during which he met President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. President Mnangagwa said his administration had decided to stop complaining about illegal Western sanctions and instead forge relationships with friendly countries.
President Nursultan, in his post-meeting remarks, said Kazakhstan considered Zimbabwe a strategic partner in the region, and supported the idea of a bilateral business council to drive commerce between the two countries.
President Mnangagwa said, “We have decided that we should not continue to cry as a result of the imposition of sanctions, which up to today have not been removed, especially by the Americans…”
The President opted to cancel the final leg of his tour to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to come and attend to the economic situation back home.
In a brief statement on Twitter yesterday, President Mnangagwa said, “In light of the economic situation, I will be returning home after a highly productive week of bilateral trade and investment meetings. We will be ably represented in Davos by Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube. The first priority is to get Zimbabwe calm, stable and working again.”
This follows three days of violence last week during a stayaway called by the opposition MDC-Alliance and ZCTU which left a trail of destruction and cost the economy millions of dollars.