Zimbabwe: Harare and London enter another diplomatic level


The CORDIAL engagement and re-engagement between the UK and Zimbabwe is a testament to the Second Republic working quietly and making good progress in terms of world re-engagement.

It comes as the UK invited President Mnangagwa to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow next month, providing an opportunity to improve relations between the UK and Zimbabwe.

Ahead of the summit, which will bring together heads of state and government, climate experts and activists to agree on coordinated action to tackle climate change, President Mnangagwa met with the UK’s ambassador last week. United in Zimbabwe, Ms Melaine Robinson, who later told reporters that her country wanted to improve relations with Zimbabwe.

The COP26 summit will focus on accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK was chosen to host the major event along with Italy.

In addition to boosting the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement efforts, the President’s visit will also open trade opportunities with the Western world, which aligns with Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 and National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1). .

The visit is also expected to increase Zimbabwe’s chances of making its case to the world community, including the British Foreign Office for readmission to the international community, especially the Commonwealth, from which it withdrew in 2003 in stronger than a diplomatic dispute between Harare and London in December 2003.

In 2019, President Mnangagwa met Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, where she expressed satisfaction with the reforms Harare was instituting and implementing.

Political analysts said the president’s visit to Britain was clear testimony that the two countries were seeking to strengthen their trade ties.

Britain wants to increase trade with Zimbabwe now that it is free from the European Union (EU) and can make deals around the world outside of the bloc.

Zimbabwe has since ratified an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the UK.

The EPA allows Zimbabwean exporters to continue to enjoy tariff-free and quota-free access to the UK market, thus laying the groundwork for a strong trading partnership in the future.

Total trade in goods and services – both exports and imports – between Britain and Zimbabwe in the four quarters through the end of the second quarter of 2020 stood at $ 412 million.

Academic and researcher Mr. Alex Munyonga said the Second Republic has often been harangued internally and globally as a notional government, but Zimbabwe’s invitation to the Conference of Parties (COP26) which will be hosted by the UK is a testament to the success of the country’s reforms.

“The courtesy visit to President Mnangagwa by the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe came as no surprise given the testimony of the European Union on Zimbabwe’s flourishing socio-economic prospects.”

The West, he said, realized the need to be a friend at all times with Zimbabwe, lest some European, Asian and other proactive nations occupy proactive social positions. economic and strategic policies in Zimbabwe.

“President Mnangagwa’s invitation to the UK signals the dawn of symmetrical relations between Zimbabwe and the UK. The venomous approach of the UK’s past to Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts is thawing. “said Mr. Munyonga.

The UK, he said, needs to position itself strategically in light of the Zimbabwean socio-economic ship cruising.

“Otherwise, there is no point in remaining rigid and passive spectators as the Zimbabwean socio-economic and political drama unfolds.

The socio-economic and political lenses that the UK now looks to Zimbabwe are refined day by day as the Second Republic continues its hands-on approach to national development and global engagement and the dynamic of re-engagement.

Mr Munyonga added: “By abandoning a male portrayal of itself and a female portrayal of Zimbabwe, the UK has shown commendable political maturity. Kudos to the Second Republic for remaining steadfast amid criticism. With the socio-economic and political compass that Zimbabwe takes Vision 2030 will be real and never an exercise, it is prudent to be a part of Zimbabwe’s socio-economic and political history, especially after decades of seething anger between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom. “

Another political analyst, Mr. Godwin Mukandiwa, weighed in saying that the invitation, the first in more than two decades, is a giant step towards the restoration of bilateral relations between the two countries by His Excellency.

“Zimbabwe has been strained in recent years, but with the arrival of the visionary leadership of His Excellency President Mnangagwa, the Zimbabwean economy is set to recover and grow,” Mukandiwa said.

An economist, Caution Torovei, said the development comes as diplomatic relations between the two countries intensify, which dovetails with President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement.

“The ratified EPA with Britain allows Zimbabwean exporters to access UK markets without tariffs or quotas and is expected to boost trade and investment between the two countries as the government’s re-engagement continues to bear fruit.” , did he declare.

South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique have signed the same EPA trade agreement with the UK.

Another political analyst, Mr. Believe Mubonderi, said President Mnangagwa’s visit is confirmation that the two countries want to move forward and not stay at odds forever.

“This is a plus for improving diplomatic relations between the two countries and could still result in more exchanges regarding the issue of Brexit,” he said.

“Considering what has happened in the past politically and economically, the two countries need this improved relationship to trigger more opportunities for Zimbabwe and even for Britain and European markets. in a way, it is a confirmation of the Second Republic mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business, and not an enemy but a friend to all, ”Mubonderi said.

Lately Britain has deported Zimbabweans with criminal records there, a normal process and a sign of a policy change on the part of London, which over the years has given refuge to criminals, who have often lied that they would be persecuted in Zimbabwe. .

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