Zimbabwe charting a new path

06 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
Zimbabwe charting a new path President Mnangagwa

The Herald

Fungi Kwaramba Political Editor

IN his weekly column in The Sunday Mail this week, President Mnangagwa said “Zimbabwe must aim to be the country where diverse capital and business cultures meet and interact competitively, including with our own. Reliance on capital and business culture from any one market does not help us”.

This is a major shift that resonates with the President’s foreign affairs policy of Engagement and Re-engagement under which he has declared that “Zimbabwe is Open for Business”.

He said reliance on a singular market, whether a historical product makes the country vulnerable “especially in the current global environment of shifting competencies, attitudes, interests, and alliances. We must cast our net wider so we get good investors and partnerships where gain is mutual”.

With the conflict in Europe raging on, spawning a global economic crisis that has led to price hikes, which even countries like Zimbabwe are feeling, the President said “the key lesson from the current global turbulence is economic sovereignty. We should break free from any limiting outlooks and linkages, including those foisted on us by colonial history. We are not owned by any country, wedded to any region or hemisphere.

“While we belong to Africa, our hunt takes us worldwide, in search of those inputs we need as an economy, as an ambitious people, and as a going nation.

“As we proclaimed at the beginning of the Second Republic, we are friends to all and enemy to none. We thus should not hesitate to push frontiers of friendship in all directions of the globe.

“Our interests select our friends. No nation, however strong and mighty, chooses friends or dictates enemies for us. We respect all races, nationalities, peoples and nations of the world. We expect no less in return. This is why we engage and re-engage, hoping for and deserving reciprocity at every instance”.

The story of the 10 bridesmaids

But while some may choose to ignore Zimbabwe’s extended hand, the country marches on, registering significant foreign direct investment, as the world’s appetite for the country’s minerals such as lithium grows.

President Mnangagwa has assured investors that his administration will continue to improve the ease of doing business and also listen to the investors’ concerns.

Hopefully, some countries will not be found in deep slumber, as was the unfortunate case with the five unwise bridesmaids who didn’t bring oil for their lamps and could not attend to the groom.

Yes because of misplaced priorities or even dreams of a lost empire and accompanying entitlement, some countries that seek to dictate to Zimbabwe are losing the chance to make investment and they may soon find the doors to the party shut.

Europe’s self-inflicted pain

Indeed, the world over, prices of basic commodities are shooting through the roof with even so-called developed countries like the United Kingdom feeling the pinch of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, a conflict they are fighting through proxies and openly sponsor to the tune of billions, all in a last ditch effort to preserve their hegemonic influence on the globe that is undeniably on the wane as a new world order emerges.

Yes, the conflict that has been dragging on in Europe for five months now pitting Russia and Nato, through its pawn Ukraine, is far from over, and the repercussions have had seismic effects on a global scale, primarily because of wheat and gas.

The world looked up to these two belligerent forces and now even countries like Zimbabwe, with no role in the conflict, are also feeling the heat as prices of basics rise. A policy fellow at the Hertie School Jacques Delors Centre, Mr Nils Redeker, wrote at the onset of the war that the economic outlook for European countries from the Russia/Ukraine conflict could be severe, principally because among other commodities, “farmers across Europe rely heavily on imported feed crops from Ukraine and, at the same time, strongly depend on Russia and Belarus for fertilisers.

“Most importantly, Russia is one of the world’s leading commodity exporters and features high on the EU’s list of producers of critical raw materials. The EU, for example, relies heavily on Russian palladium, a precious metal that is embedded in engine exhausts to reduce emissions.

“Shortages here have already led to price hikes and could quickly translate into supply-chain issues, especially for the German and the Italian automotive industries.

“At the same time, Russia also accounts for large chunks of the EU’s total imports of nickel and aluminium; disruptions in the trade flows in these areas could therefore severely impact the block’s steel, manufacturing, and construction industries”.

With such disruptions, Zimbabwe, and indeed Africa at large, are poised to be a major player on the global scale, filling the gaps left by warring nations and exploring new markets.

Of course, Zimbabwe’s leadership prefers dialogue to unilateralism which is on display in Europe as the US and the EU impose crippling sanctions on Russia, with the ultimate goal of entrenching their influence on a global scale and their prescriptive diplomacy.

Time for rich pickings

Just yesterday, NATO, the Transatlantic grouping of warmongers, issued a stern warning to Russia, saying among other things that it will continue turning the screws on the Eurasian country if it does not cease its attacks on Ukraine.

That seems to be a faraway problem for Zimbabwe, but with our abundant natural resources such as lithium, we have to ready ourselves to meet growing global demand as some sources remain closed.

This is all clear as industries in the country are buzzing, with one of the game-changers coming in the form of the Manhize Iron Steel Project. Yes very soon where nations used to look to Ukraine they will be looking to Zimbabwe.

Like Zimbabwe, Russia is the victim of Western propaganda

Of course, the truth is the first casualty of war, and with its vast media arsenal, the West has been false-flagging Russia with the intention to isolate that country, itself a sovereign state that is slowly being encircled by hostile nations which pose an existential threat to its sovereignty.

Only that such tall tales are all too familiar to very discerning Zimbabweans who are all the wiser after being subjected to almost too similar a treatment by the Western world which to this very day maintains illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

There has been a web of lies, spawned by its lickspittle media, that the land reform programme was ill-conceived and never should be replicated anywhere in the world for that will tell a positive story of self-determination and of a country chiselling its future, primarily using its God-given resources, chiefly land and everything within its rich bosoms to improve the livelihoods of its people towards becoming an upper-middle-class economy by 2030.

We never forget our friends, and of course detractors

The hands of time keep moving, but engrained in memory indelibly are the deeds of the Americans and the British who in 2008 attempted to apply punitive pressure on Zimbabwe through resolutions that included an arms embargo, and financial and travel restrictions on the Zanu PF administration at the UN Security Council only to be vetoed by the Chinese and Russia.

These two nations have stood with Zimbabwe even when the same western world looked the other way as their kith and kin, in the form of Ian Smith and other colonialists, butchered black Zimbabweans, only to surrender yelping with tails between legs in 1980, after a protracted struggle that was waged principally to guarantee self-determination.

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