Prosper Ndlovu in Lusaka, Zambia
ZIMBABWE’S new political dispensation is grateful for the support it continues to receive from regional leaders and is geared towards holding free, fair and transparent elections this month-end, Minister of Presidential Affairs in charge of Monitoring and Implementation Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said yesterday.
The minister, who is representing President Mnangagwa who could not attend the 20th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Heads of States Summit underway here, said Harare was committed to meeting its obligations and playing its part as a member of the trading bloc towards fulfilment of the regional economic integration agenda.
“Zimbabwe is now under a new political dispensation.
“The transition which took place in Zimbabwe in November 2017, was peaceful, orderly and within the tenets of the supreme law of the land.
“In that respect, I would like to thank you, your excellences for the tremendous support and generosity that you so generously extend to the people and Government of Zimbabwe during this period,” he said.
“Zimbabwe is committed to meeting its obligations as a member of Comesa and advancing the broader regional integration drive.”
The minister said the campaign trail in Zimbabwe ahead of elections was going on smoothly despite the isolated bombing incident that occurred in Bulawayo a few weeks ago.
“Campaigning is going on peacefully. This is despite the unfortunate explosion at a zanu-pf rally on the 23th of June 2018, which claimed lives of two people,” he said.
“However, I wish to say that the Government of Zimbabwe is committed to and has put in place measures to ensure a free, fair and peaceful and credible and non-violent election.”
Minister Mumbengegwi also said Zimbabwe was grateful and honoured to receive the Comesa pre-election assessment and observation missions to participate in monitoring the election process.
“Zimbabwe greatly appreciates that Comesa responded positively to the invitation to observe elections,” he said.
Turning to the summit programme, Cde Mumbengegwi commended the leadership of Madagascar as chair of Comesa Authority over the past 18 months as well as the Comesa Secretariat for their diligence in preparing the documents for consideration by delegates.
He applauded host Zambia for ensuring conducive environment for the hosting of the summit. This year’s summit runs under the theme: “Comesa: Towards Digital economic Integration”.
Minister Mumbengegwi also paid tribute to outgoing Comesa secretary-general Mr Sindiso Ngwenya for a job well done after he served the bloc for more than 34 years and was at its helm for the last 10 years.
Mr Ngwenya is a Zimbabwean-born technocrat with vast experience in economics and regional integration issues.