Ambassadors must work on strengthening trade relations and attracting foreign direct investment as this is key to the development of Zimbabwe and attainment of Vision 2030.
Three ambassadors-designate — Charity Charamba, Johannes Tomana and Nancy Saungweme — yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at State House where they were briefed on their duties and his expectations, chief among them the strengthening of bilateral and trade relations.
Since the start of the Second Republic, ambassadors have been challenged to pursue economic diplomacy as a priority, in line with the policy that “Zimbabwe is Open for Business”.
Ambassador Charamba is going to Zambia, Ambassador Tomana has been deployed to the DR Congo and Ambassador Saungweme is headed for Malawi.
The ambassadors pledged to work hard in improving trade relations between Zimbabwe and their destination countries and also work towards the attainment of Vision 2030.
In an interview after meeting President Mnangagwa, Ambassador Tomana said the ambassadors had to focus on promoting the national vision.
“The President intends that this country attains an upper middle class economy by 2030. This will not happen if a lot of work is not done; in particular, it will not happen if new markets are not opened for our industry, for our export industry, and if foreign direct investment does not come in the country, which will assist in the growth that is necessary for the vision to be achieved.
“We have a specific mandate beyond diplomacy, which is to create markets for our industry and to be able to attract foreign direct investment to come and join hands with our efforts here. It’s a good mandate for Zimbabwe and we pray that we give it our best and achieve that for our country,” he said.
Ambassador Charamba said she had been asked to strengthen bilateral and trade relations between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The two countries have a strong relationship which dates back to the days of the liberation struggle.
“Zambia is important to Zimbabwe in that most of our comrades perished in Zambia during the liberation struggle. His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) was also in Zambia for a long time during the liberation struggle and he knows Zambia.
“I am going to look at ways of strengthening the already existing trade relations between Zambia and Zimbabwe. We have common boundaries, share Kariba and Victoria Falls, and we have a lot in common even in terms of language.
“We are going to be looking at ways of enhancing trade relations and also looking at agriculture. At the moment Zambia has had a surplus in maize and as their neighbours we also have some needs, so these are some of the areas that we are going to look into and strengthen the bond that already exists,” she said.
Ambassador Charamba said there were shrines of fallen Zimbabwean heroes in Zambia and President Mnangagwa had pointed out that they should be looked after.
On her part, Ambassador Saungweme said she was given a mandate to strengthen the relationship between Zimbabwe and Malawi and to ensure we improve on trade between the two countries.
“The President is expecting that we bring together the people of Malawi and the people of Zimbabwe. We have many people from Malawi in Zimbabwe and there are Zimbabweans also in Malawi. We should have bilateral relations that benefit both parties.
“I am going to work towards attracting investment and ensure Zimbabweans can also invest in Malawi,” she said.