Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
THE President yesterday urged diplomats to promote trade between Zimbabwe and the various countries they are stationed in, as part of Government’s new thrust in diplomacy. The President said this while addressing the media after holding a closed-door meeting with the diplomats at his Munhumutapa Offices.
He said the Second Republic was focused on servant leadership. “They have to realise that there is a Second Republic and the new dispensation and that this new dispensation is a servant leadership that should also translate to themselves,” he said.
“They should understand that the will of the people is what is in their hearts always. Secondly, we have changed the title of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, which means all our missions must address the question of trade.
“Their priority is to promote trade with the capitals where they are accredited with Zimbabwe. The third point was to brief them about the transitional programme which we have in the country sector-by-sector as to how we intend to mordernise and industrialise our economy. So I walked them through the processes and provisions towards 2030.”
The international address was formerly under the Ministry of Industry and Trade before it was moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November last year when the new dispensation was ushered in following the resignation of former President Mugabe.
The President added that Government was addressing the diplomats’ concerns to do with working conditions and delayed salaries.
“I had to encourage them to work hard and that we are going to address the concerns and issues they have as a result of past expenses we had as a country.
“We are now focusing on them (the concerns and issues) and make sure that they are proud ambassadors of Zimbabwe,” he said.
On salary arrears, President Mnangagwa said they had agreed on a methodology to clear the backlog. The diplomats have been in the country for the past week during which they were attending a workshop under their parent ministry.
Yesterday’s meeting was also attended by Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, Acting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Cain Mathema, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya, among other senior Government officials.