The five ambassadors appointed by President Mnangagwa recently have indicated their readiness to advance Zimbabwe’s re-engagement drive and push economic and trade issues in pursuit of Vision 2030.
Since the coming of the Second Republic, President Mnangagwa has challenged ambassadors to drive economic diplomacy in line with the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” policy.
Former Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana was deployed to DR Congo; former Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Taonga Mushayavanhu was moved to Ethiopia and former Ambassador to the United States Mr Ammon Mutembwa is headed to Belgium, the EU capital.
Former national police spokesperson Ambassador Charity Charamba goes to Zambia and former special advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Stuart Comberbach is now the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
In interviews with The Herald last week, Ambassadors Tomana, Charamba and Comberbach expressed joy on their deployments.
“People want an improved lifestyle and this has been laid out by the Head of State, we need to industrialise, we need to be able to attract foreign direct investment, we need to resuscitate industry, we need to resuscitate exports,” said Ambassador Tomana.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is emphasising the international trade mandate which is where we are being deployed.”
Ambassador Comberbach said he was looking forward to the new responsibility “and I am greatly honoured by the appointment”.
“I am looking forward to doing my best in the new appointment,” said Ambassador Comberbach.
Ambassador Charamba said she was equally excited and felt “greatly honoured for the trust bestowed upon me to serve my beloved country as a representative in Zambia”.
“Our countries enjoy cordial relations dating back to the colonial era, Federation and armed struggle, therefore, I will be at home away from home,” she said.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo, who is continuing to lead Zimbabwe’s re-engagement drive told United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy in a virtual conversation recently that Harare made a number of political and economic reforms to improve the operating environment.
Ambassador Nagy conceded that the working environment had improved and said the US was willing to work with Zimbabwe.
He bemoaned uninformed criticism of Zimbabwe’s successful land reform and praised the efforts now being made to compensate former farmers for improvements.
“I remember very well all that went into the Lancaster House agreement and how some of those were not complied with by some of the international partners,” he said.
“Some of the commitments that were made, it is history, unfortunately. But not all of the blame on what happened should be on one side, when you and I both know very well all the discussion that went into that.
“We have to accept what your Government is trying to do now.
“It takes resources and it takes courage to compensate. As I said, for improving trade and investment I am there. I really want Americans to be active players.”
Ambassador Nagy said there was nothing holding American businesses back from investing in Zimbabwe at the moment.
“We know the tremendous value of your human capital, we want to work with you. We want to be an international partner for Zimbabwe,” said Mr Nagy.