Zim, US relations thaw
Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
Government has said the invitation of Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United States, Ammon Mutembwa, to attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday marks the beginning of mending relations between Harare and Washington.
Ambassador Mutembwa was among high-level dignitaries invited to the US leader’s first State of the Union address in Washington.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant General Subisiso Moyo (Retired) told The Herald yesterday that Government hoped that the US’ gesture was the beginning of thawing relations between the two countries.
“You are aware that we have been on a re-engagement and rapprochement offensive and that re-engagement process starts from a political level, particularly with those countries which have had negative position against us,” he said.
“But, we are reasserting our friendship with those who have been our friends first and that is the East and we are proceeding to re-engage Europe. You recall that there are no differences between the American people and the Zimbabwean people in general. It has been some specific administrations which at the time in UK was Tony Blair and there was George (W) Bush in the US.”
The new administration under President Mnangagwa is in the process of engaging, re-engaging, strengthening and deepening its relationship with bilateral and multilateral partners.
In his inauguration speech on November 24 last year, President Mnangagwa emphasised that his Government would launch a diplomatic offensive meant to ensure mutual cooperation with countries from across the globe.
In line with his call, President Mnangagwa was recently in Davos, Switzerland, where he attended the World Economic Forum.
He became the first sitting Zimbabwean president to attend the event.
During his engagements, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was now open for business and wanted to be an active member in the global community of nations.
In this regard, the British have already seized the opportunity to engage Zimbabwe and a third special envoy from the British Prime Minister Theresa May – Ms Harriet Baldwin, UK Minister for Africa – is in the country having discussions with Government.
Her predecessor Rory Stewart was the first envoy to visit the newly inaugurated President Mnangagwa on November 24.
He was followed by Sir Simon Gerard McDonald, who is Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service.
Such engagements, according to President Mnangagwa, would allow Zimbabwe to catch up with other countries in terms of economic development.