Zimbabwe will soon despatch special envoys to a number of countries around the world to renew her frosty relationship, plead with them for assistance in reviving the economy of the country.
President Emerson Mnangangwa revealed this when addressing a special private dinner of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora at GICC in Gaborone this Monday. Mnangagwa reminded his audience that the world has become a global village. “We cannot afford to live in isolation. My administration embarked on a re-engagement drive with countries we had frosty relationship with, as well as consolidating relations with those countries which stood with us when the chips were down”.
The meeting was attended by Zimbabwean business people living in Botswana, representatives of professional bodies for lawyers, accountants, project managers, administrators, ICT, academics and 11 Zimbabwean cabinet ministers who were part f the delegation during the two day state visit.
Mnangagwa also dispelled allegations that his country will adopt a new currency stating that, “I will like to inform you that the multi currency regime is still in place in the country and will remain until the economy improves. We will introduce our own currency when the necessary macro-economic fundamentals have been achieved contrary to some rumours that have been making rounds. In the same vein, rumours to the effect that we will adopt another currency are equally unfounded. Our mantra is Zimbabwe is open for business”.
Mnangagwa said one of the major preoccupations of his government is to grow the economy. “Government has been improving the investment climate in the country by removing impediments to investment. The measures include, but are not limited to, the adjustment of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act. The 51- 49 percent rule now applies to the diamond and platinum sectors only. The rest of the economy is open for investment. In the same vein, government has begun to implement a broad array of ease of doing business reforms, government has, in the process, reduced the time required for the registration and licensing of companies. In an effort to stop unnecessary demands on the fiscus, government is working on the modalities to reform and commercialise non- performing state enterprises that had become an albatross around its neck”.
He told his fellow countrymen that there is now renewed hope for Zimbabwe across the globe, saying this is shown by the number of political and business delegations that are coming to Zimbabwe since the new dispensation. “My visit to Botswana at the invitation of my counterpart is also proof that the world is embracing Zimbabwe again”.
He said the meeting is in line with the Zimbabwe Diaspora policy which recognises the significance of the Diaspora in the mainstream economy, and the pivotal role the Diasporans play in nation building. “Let us journey together,” he appealed.
Among the myriad of investment opportunities he mentioned mining, infrastructure, ICTs and agriculture. It is the expectation of Zimbabwean government that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora will take up these opportunities before they are taken up by outsiders.
Mnangagwa said corruption remains one of the major sources of some of the problems the country faces. “Its negative impact on national development cannot be overemphasised.
Corruption is rife in both public and private sector in our country. I have appealed to everyone to play a part in ensuring that corruption ceases to be a scourge that has in the past affected our country. My government has zero tolerance towards corruption and stern measures will be taken against those involved in corrupt practices, irrespective of their positions in society”.
Regarding the state of former president Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa assured his audience that, “our founding father and icon is well and safe. It is my wish, and that of the government to preserve the legacy of the only remaining hero”
For his part, Zimbabwean High Commissioner, Thomas Mandigora told Mnangagwa that members of the Diaspora family in Botswana have expressed their desire and commitment to actively participate in the socio-economic development of Zimbabwe by investing back home.