President back from UN trip
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa returned home yesterday after attending the 78th Ordinary Session of United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States.
He was welcomed at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Colonel (Rtd) Kembo Mohadi, Cabinet ministers and senior Government officials.
In his address to the UN General Assembly, President Mnangagwa called for equitable global economic development and attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through multilateralism and doing away with individualistic self-interest.
The Assembly ran under the theme, “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all”.
The President also shared with the assembly the rapid economic development that Zimbabwe has registered under the Second Republic, notwithstanding having had to contend with crippling illegal economic sanctions imposed by the West.
He said Zimbabwe has managed to forge ahead with its economic development agenda with the Second Republic championing the spirit of “masters of our own destiny” in the populace.
President Mnangagwa also highlighted that Zimbabwe had, just recently, managed to conduct free, fair, credible elections in peace and harmony among contestants.
On the sidelines of the UNGA, President Mnangagwa also held several bilateral engagements with counterparts from the Sadc region and some representatives of companies willing to invest in Zimbabwe called on him.
He also highlighted to the world during the General Assembly debate that Zimbabwe had held peaceful and violence-free elections, which produced an outcome reflecting the will of the people.
In his keynote address, the Head of State and Government said: “Zimbabwe continues to entrench democracy, constitutionalism, good governance and the rule of law, following the recently held 2023 harmonised general elections.
“I am pleased to highlight that our country enjoyed peace before, during and after our free, fair, transparent and credible elections.”
During the elections held in August, President Mnangagwa and his party Zanu PF won resoundingly.
However, some Western election observer missions produced adverse reports about the elections, as the results did not favour their preferred opposition candidates.
The President said sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, Cuba and others, were unjust and must be lifted unconditionally adding that imposition of punitive actions such as sanctions, hampers “the trust, global solidarity and multilateralism we desire”.
Zimbabwe has been under crippling economic sanctions imposed by the West as punishment for the Land Reform Programme that redressed colonial land imbalances.
“Zimbabwe has been under the illegal, unilateral economic sanctions for 23 years, imposed by some Western countries.”
“These sanctions were designed to subjugate the sovereign will of the Zimbabwean people. We, therefore, demand that the unjustified unilateral sanctions be unconditionally lifted, including those imposed on countries like Cuba.
“We remain grateful for the support and solidarity of progressive countries in the comity of nations,” he said.
Despite the debilitating effects of the sanctions, Zimbabwe is using its own resources and has initiated life-changing key infrastructural developments, including the expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Lake Gwayi-Shangani, rehabilitation of Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway, construction of new clinics and schools, especially in rural areas.
In between his hectic schedule, President Mnangagwa held closed door meetings with three fellow SADC Heads of State; President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, Angolan President and SADC Chairman Joao Lourenco and Namibian President Hage Geingob.
The three congratulated their counterpart on winning the harmonised elections.
President Mnangagwa’s meetings with the regional leaders were critical after Zimbabwe’s elections, and more importantly after the SADC Election Observer Mission headed by Dr Nevers Mumba came up with a report that showed the mission went outside its mandate of assessing the electoral processes such as the campaigning, voting and counting, and announcement of results.