Zim foreign policy commended
Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe’s commitment to fulfilling the engagement and re-engagement policy openly and transparently is now getting the due recognition, diplomatic and political affairs expert has said.
Dr Mataruse, a University of Zimbabwe lecturer in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, said repeated international endorsement of the work that is being done by the Second Republic is indicative of the sound foreign policy thrust taken by President Mnangagwa’s administration.
He said the recent praises by the European Union (EU) on Zimbabwe’s quest to walk the reform agenda are not happening in isolation, and also the thawing of relations between Harare and the British Government.
Zimbabwe has had to forge ahead with its quest to develop the country to levels commensurate with an upper middle-income society by 2030 and is doing that under illegal sanctions imposed by Western countries.
Zimbabwe, per President Mnangagwa’s foreign policy, has adopted a non-reciprocal approach to countries hostile to her, instead, it is willing to be a friend of all and an enemy of none.
Dr Mataruse singled out for special praise the recent high-level visit of Cuban Vice President Salvador Valdes to Zimbabwe as a sign of excellent diplomatic ties between the two countries.
“President Mnangagwa has done the responsible thing of pursuing a multi-pronged foreign policy of re-engagement, affirmation and engagement, I commend him for pursuing it and could give him a vigorous policy of economic diplomacy,” said Dr Mataruse.
“President Mnangagwa shined at the (United Arab Emirates) UAE at the climate change conference, finding sustainable partnerships and responsible investors. In Italy, under its new Premier, he pursued possibilities of a new course with the West.
“At Davos, at the World Economic Forum, he urged the West to find ways of peace in geopolitics and invited them to a partnership of equals and sovereigns.
“With the Cuban Vice President, we affirmed a long-standing historical and contemporary friendship with Cuba. We also stood with the Global South at the Non-aligned Movement Summit in Uganda strengthening friendships, and seeking new markets and supplies,” said Dr Mataruse.
He said the fruits of all this work are being seen in that several countries, in particular the United Kingdom, are reconsidering their position on Zimbabwe.
Dr Mataruse said what is unique about this effort is that President Mnangagwa is inviting investors, not to plunder the country, but to help build local capacity and ensure skills transfer.
“This is the particular case of the cooperation with Russia and China, our all-time friends, where there have been high-level exchanges of notes at both a policy and academic level.
“It’s no longer mere cultural exchanges of tourism and exoticism but deeper changes of comparing curriculums, building capacity and skills transfer.
“With skill, the President as the chief articulator of Zimbabwean foreign policy has sought to balance a history and necessity for economic nationalism with a
a gradual but controlled form of openness that avoids the well-known negative effects of orthodox neoliberalism.
“Economic diplomacy spells good times ahead for Zimbabwe – we need to continue to make our foreign policy work for our science, innovation, industrialisation and self-reliance,” said Dr Mataruse.
Under the re-engagement policy, relations have started to improve between Zimbabwe and other hostile countries, and this thawing of relations and envisaged boom in trade could further give impetus to Zimbabwe’s engagement and re-engagement drive.