Nobleman Runyanga Correspondent
For the first time in 37 years Zimbabwe is represented at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly summit by a new leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who represents a refreshingly different political and economic trajectory.
For President Mnangagwa and Zimbabwe this is not only a moment of global pride. It is an opportune moment to present to the world its new vision, how it intends to get there and the role of fellow global community members therein.
When former president Robert Mugabe addressed the UNGA on September 26, 2017, the country’s indigenisation law, the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, which reserved the some sectors for local people and forced foreign investors to cede 51 percent of any ventures to the same, was still firmly in place.
This time around President Mnangagwa is set to address the General Assembly at a time that he and his Government have extensively walked the “Zimbabwe is open for business” talk by doing away with the anti-investor legislation except for the platinum and diamond mining sectors.
Unlike the previous regime, which paid lip service to investment drive but frustrated them at home through legislation and restrictive environment, President Mnangagwa is set to address the world at a time that he has made commendable strides to harmonise his investment drive with a matching conducive investment environment on the ground.
President Mnangagwa is addressing the General Assembly after romping to electoral victory and setting up a Cabinet which has been commended by both friend and foe at home and abroad.
He has put together a Cabinet which is balanced in terms of gender representation, age and technocrats such as the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube who has both the requisite qualifications and a wealth of experience in the finance industry.
The President tore away from the tradition of the previous administration which listened more to itself than the people or other key stakeholders such as the international community. He has described himself as a listening president, which he has lived up to so far.
Faced with a cholera outbreak which has so far seen 32 people losing their lives, President Mnangagwa has directed that the Treasury puts on hold Government’s plans to purchase motor vehicles for legislators and Cabinet ministers to the tune of US$21 million and directed that the resources be channelled towards containing the cholera menace and putting in place mechanisms and infrastructure to ensure that the it does not recur.
The gesture received praise from most Zimbabweans who indicated that unlike Mugabe, President Mnangagwa values the people and prioritises their welfare.
President Mnangagwa has realised that Zimbabwe’s socio-economic recovery depends largely on getting all things economic right.
This is the reason why even during the campaign season leading up to his election on July 30, he prioritised economic turnaround. His campaign rallies were preceded by economic activities such as the tour of ongoing infrastructure projects, manufacturing plants or officially opening major projects such power plants.
He has declared that his administration would be more about economics than politics and he has so far demonstrated this at every available opportunity.
As President Mnangagwa and his entourage hold series of meetings in New York with representatives of various companies and countries, they are leveraging the moment to sell Zimbabwe’s unique climate and tourist resorts and tourism potential.
They are letting the world in on the country’s vast mineral wealth which is in excess of 60 different minerals that include ones on global demand such as lithium, diamonds and platinum.
The team is explaining that Zimbabwe has an educated population, three million of who are driving vital economic sectors of numerous countries both on the continent and abroad.
The team is explaining that post-Mugabe, the country has moved from the old bureaucratic culture and adopted a modern and professional work ethic in line with global best practices.
As President Mnangagwa takes to the podium next week he carries the hopes of Zimbabweans at home and abroad. He carries the story of a new administration, a new culture and a new country altogether. He bears the story of a new Zimbabwe which the whole world has been waiting for since he came into office in November last year when Mugabe resigned.
It is indeed a new opportunity for Zimbabwe to be heard threw a new administration.