Source: Moyo off to London | The Herald July 10, 2019
As the Government presses full steam ahead with its engagement and re-engagement policy to restore broken ties with the wider world, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo will later this week embark on an official visit to the United Kingdom, the architect of the country’s international isolation, the Ministry said on Monday.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Sheppard Gwenzi said although the reason for the visit was to attend a Global Conference for Media Freedom, the Minister would hold talks with British and Irish government officials.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Moyo will undertake an official visit to London in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 10 to 14 July 2019, to attend the Global Conference for Media Freedom.
“The conference will be co-hosted by the British and Canadian Governments. The UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Christina Alexandra Freeland will co-chair the conference,” he said.
Mr Gwenzi said the minister would use the visit to engage the United Kingdom government officials lined up.
“In addition to attending the Conference, the Minister would seek to engage with officials of Her Majesty’s Government with a view to further strengthen Zimbabwe’s bilateral relations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” he said.
Minister Moyo is also expected to address a gathering of Westminster Africa Business Group Executives to lure them to invest in Zimbabwe.
“This is in furtherance of the Ministry’s Economic Diplomacy policy to secure international financial support and foreign direct investment.
“The overall visit is part of the Minister’s re-engagement programme to return Zimbabwe to its rightful place within the broad community of nations,” said Mr Gwenzi.
Since becoming Zimbabwe’s leader in November 2017, President Mnangagwa has been on an engagement and re-engagement drive in a bid to mend relations with the global world.
This has seen Zimbabwe hosting the first ever formal dialogue with the European Union in Harare last month. Zimbabwe has also applied to rejoin the Commonwealth.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom turned sour when the then government of premier Tony Blair pulled out of dialogue to fund Harare’s land reform exercise, forcing Harare to compulsorily take-over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks to redress colonial land ownership imbalances.
Zimbabwe was later slapped with illegal western sanctions, orchestrated by Britain, as punishment for the land reforms. – New Ziana.