Zimbabwe Situation

President embraces civil society

Source: President embraces civil society | Herald (Local news)

President Mnangagwa

Bulawayo Bureau—
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has embraced Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in a clear break with the past when the institutions were viewed as regime change agents. The President last Friday met British Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, who revealed that her Government had released £5 million to Non-Governmental Organisations to promote democracy in Zimbabwe.

In a Facebook post, President Mnangagwa hailed Britain for pouring funds into the organisations, a departure from the past. During former President Robert Mugabe’s rule, NGOs were viewed as anti-government regime change agents meant to destabilise the country. “I was delighted to welcome the British Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, on her first official visit to Africa in her new role,” said President Mnangagwa. “We are witnessing a remarkable improvement in our relations with the UK and I am pleased to report great progress in talks around investment opportunities for both countries.

“I also want to thank the UK for its £5 million investment today in Zimbabwe’s civil society organisations. These NGOs play a vital role in strengthening our people’s ability to participate in democracy. They promote dialogue, tolerance and respect — all vital ingredients to a free society.” President Mnangagwa reiterated his commitment towards holding free and credible elections.

He said it was satisfying that the new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba assured the nation that elections would be credible. “In the speech, I also promised to ensure credible, free and fair elections later this year,” said President Mnangagwa. “So, I was pleased to see the new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chair reinforce my call for unity and peace, and make clear that the next elections will be democratic, free and fair.

“That’s a goal all Zimbabweans can get behind.” President Mnangagwa said his administration would continue working towards improving people’s lives and reviewing land leases to white farmers was one of the commitments.

“In my inauguration speech, I promised to reform our agricultural sector,” he said. “This is just one policy of many that will fulfil our nation’s true agricultural potential. Internationally, we continue to make excellent progress building partnerships across the world.” President Mnangagwa has been using his Facebook account to interact with Zimbabweans on issues to do with national development.

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