Re-en­gage­ment ef­forts pay­ing off — SB Moyo

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Her­ald Re­porter

DE­SPITE the con­tin­ued ex­is­tence of il­le­gal eco­nomic sanc­tions, which must be un­con­di­tion­ally re­moved, the coun­try’s re-en­gage­ment ef­forts are pay­ing div­i­dends as the Sec­ond Repub­lic led by Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa re­mains com­mit­ted to re­build­ing the coun­try and en­gage the broader fam­ily of na­tions, For­eign Af­fairs and In­ter­na­tional Trade Min­is­ter Dr Sibu­siso Moyo has said.

As things stand, Dr Moyo told Par­lia­ment on Thurs­day in a min­is­te­rial state­ment, that the Gov­ern­ment was sat­is­fied with suc­cesses reg­is­tered in strength­en­ing re­la­tions, re­build­ing bro­ken ties and es­tab­lish­ing new re­la­tion­ships with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, notwith­stand­ing the set­backs caused by sanc­tions and suc­ces­sive droughts.

“When one re­views the progress we have made over the past two to three years, it is in­evitable that we see both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive de­vel­op­ments along our cho­sen tra­jec­tory; but I be­lieve it is fair to say that, over­all, we can be sat­is­fied that, notwith­stand­ing the oc­ca­sional set­back, we have ad­vanced along the path of fur­ther strength­en­ing ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ships, of re­build­ing bro­ken re­la­tion­ships and of es­tab­lish­ing new re­la­tion­ships — and that this mul­ti­fac­eted process has gath­ered enough trac­tion to war­rant not only its ac­tive con­tin­u­a­tion but in­deed yet fur­ther im­pe­tus and ac­cel­er­a­tion.

“Mr Speaker Sir, it is my firm con­tention there­fore, that, re­gard­less of the oc­ca­sional diplo­matic skir­mishes with the West, re­gret­tably often overblown by both our lo­cal and for­eign me­dia and notwith­stand­ing the West’s stub­born re­luc­tance to ac­knowl­edge progress in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Gov­ern­ment’s home-grown re­form agenda, our re-en­gage­ment ef­forts are pay­ing div­i­dends in terms of the New Dis­pen­sa­tion’s com­mit­ment to re­build­ing Zim­babwe’s im­age and to re­turn­ing our coun­try to

its right­ful place within the Com­mu­nity of Na­tions.”

Leg­is­la­tors led by Nor­ton MP, Mr Temba Mliswa had re­quested through Speaker of the Na­tional Assem­bly Ad­vo­cate Ja­cob Mu­denda that Min­is­ter Moyo up­dates the na­tion on re-en­gage­ment ef­forts that have been made by Gov­ern­ment.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, that was lauded by leg­is­la­tors from across the po­lit­i­cal di­vide, Min­is­ter Moyo, whose port­fo­lio su­per­in­tends in­ter­na­tional trade and in­vest­ment, chron­i­cled sev­eral in­vest­ment deals run­ning into mil­lions of United States dol­lars that have come from var­i­ous sec­tors, mostly energy and min­ing, as a show of con­fi­dence from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity on the Sec­ond Repub­lic.

“Mr Speaker sir, the re-en­gage­ment aspect of our for­eign pol­icy was al­ways go­ing to be a process rather than an event and it was never go­ing to be easy, or quick, to re­gain the con­fi­dence and trust of those Western coun­tries and in­sti­tu­tions which parted ways with us around 2000, in the wake of the Land Re­form Ex­er­cise — with­out doubt the pri­mary trig­ger for the diplo­matic, po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic iso­la­tion which fol­lowed and which, in some re­spects, is still with us to­day. I re­fer, of course, to the il­le­gal, puni­tive sanc­tions and other re­stric­tive mea­sures still in place against our na­tion,” said Min­is­ter Moyo.

The coun­try’s top diplo­mat added that the ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive of the coun­try’s re-en­gage­ment ef­forts is to have sanc­tions lifted and re­turn Zim­babwe to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

Min­is­ter Moyo said it was un­der­stand­able that some peo­ple were scep­ti­cal on the suc­cess of the re-en­gage­ment ef­forts given that the il­le­gal sanc­tions re­mained in place.

He, how­ever, said it was crit­i­cal to note that the Euro­pean Union had re­moved in­di­vid­u­als from its sanc­tion lists, an in­di­ca­tion of pos­i­tive move­ment of their ef­forts.

“Our view, of course, is that sanc­tions are un­jus­ti­fied and ob­so­lete and must go. The suc­cess of our diplo­matic en­gage­ment in this di­rec­tion is clearly demon­strated by the sol­i­dar­ity of fel­low SADC and other African na­tions, of ma­jor pow­ers such as China, In­dia, and the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion, of the group of Non-Aligned coun­tries, the ACP group of na­tions and many oth­ers who con­tinue to in­ten­sify their call for those sanc­tions to be lifted. There was no such unan­i­mous cho­rus prior to Novem­ber 2017,” he said.

Min­is­ter Moyo said the suc­cess of re-en­gage­ment ef­forts was mea­sured by the con­struc­tive di­a­logue with Western na­tions in­clud­ing the United States, and the UK, someEU thing that prior to Novem­ber 2017 was vir­tu­ally non-ex­is­tent.

It was also mea­sured by the fre­quency of such di­a­logue and the con­struc­tive tenor of the dis­cus­sions.

“With re­gard to Euro­pean sanc­tions, I be­lieve we are all aware that, as from Fe­bru­ary, 2020, there are no longer any in­di­vid­u­als on the EU’s ac­tive sanc­tions list al­though Zim­babwe De­fence In­dus­tries ( ZDI) re­mains sanc­tioned and an arms-em­bargo re­mains in place against Zim­babwe,” he said.

Min­is­ter Moyo’s state­ment comes at a time when the SADC re­gion is pre­par­ing for the anti-sanc­tions day on Oc­to­ber 25, in sol­i­dar­ity with Zim­babwe un­der the theme, “Re­silience, Sol­i­dar­ity, Progress in a Sanc­tions En­vi­ron­ment”.

And with Zim­babwe tick­ing all the boxes of po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic re­form and also per­form­ing tremen­dously against all odds, Dr Moyo told

on Tues­day that al­though sancZBC tions and the out­break of Covid-19 had taught the coun­try to be self-re­liant, their re­moval will see Zim­babwe fly­ing higher.

“We have heard during the ad­vent of coro­n­avirus a call on re­moval of sanc­tions on coun­tries which have had sanc­tions in Africa. This has been done by dif­fer­ent play­ers so I think there has been tremen­dous progress in that re­gard and even this year, the 39th United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly, you have seen quite a lot of heads of state who have been call­ing for the re­moval of sanc­tions,” said Dr Moyo.

“We are say­ing can these sanc­tions be re­moved, they are no longer rel­e­vant.”

Due to the il­le­gal sanc­tions that were im­posed on Zim­babwe by the Western world as pun­ish­ment for the suc­cess­ful land re­form pro­gramme, the coun­try has lost bil­lions of dol­lars in terms of in­vest­ment.

De­prived of ac­cess to lines of credit, the coun­try has been fund­ing its projects alone, do­ing a re­mark­able job in in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment, in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity in the key min­ing, agri­cul­ture and tourism sec­tors.

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