President concludes fruitful UN trip
Hatred Zenenga in NEW YORK, US
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa arrives home today from a fruitful trip in New York, the Unites States where he highlighted to the world during the 78th Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly debate that Zimbabwe had held peaceful and violence-free elections, which produced an outcome reflecting the will of the people.
On the side-lines of the UN General Assembly conference, the President also had highly successful engagements and re-engagements with different political and business constituencies.
The UNGA debate was held 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”.
In his key note 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.
In his remarks, the President also condemned the use of unilateral and illegal sanctions as a foreign policy tool at the disposal of some powerful nations.
He said sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, Cuba and others, were unjust and must be lifted unconditionally.
The President said 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 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.
They started interrogating laws passed by a sovereign nation and criticising them, which is unprecedented.
It was therefore critical for former liberation movements leading SADC countries to exchange notes, especially ahead of the Eswatini general elections set for this Friday.
Former liberation movements such as ZANU PF, the ANC of South Africa, Frelimo of Mozambique, SWAPO of Namibia and the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, are under attack from Western forces that are using neo-liberal forces to unseat them and replace them with puppets.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, in his UNGA address, called for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, saying they were causing untold suffering to ordinary citizens and neighbouring countries.
In an interview with journalists on the side-lines of the General Assembly Debate, President Ramaphosa said Zimbabwe’s recent elections were free and fair and the SADC Observer Mission had no business interfering in the elections.
Business delegations from General Electric, Afreximbank Bank and Zimbabwe Diasporan professionals, also held closed door meetings with the President and his team.
The meetings were described as “very positive” and promised a better future for Zimbabweans.
Representatives of Zanu PF Diasporans in the United States and Canada also met the President.
The group of diaspora professionals signed a memorandum of understanding with the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) to develop a multi-billion-dollar biotech city.
President Mnangagwa assured them that land for the biotech city was available in the Eastern Highlands where climatic conditions meet best storage conditions.
The investment is a major milestone for Zimbabwe and Africa as skills are being brought home to develop own drugs and technology.
This is expected to cause a change in policy decision-making in the biotech industry and innovation in the sector.
President Mnangagwa was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr Frederick Shava, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Professor Mthuli Ncube, Minister of Skills Audit and Development, Professor Paul Mavima, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and Presidential spokesperson, Mr George Charamba, Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana and other senior Government officials.