Zimbabwe is moving closer to rejoining the Commonwealth as the international organisation warms up to the country’s re-engagement and engagement drive.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently visited the United Kingdom to attend the coronation of King Charles III, and took the opportunity to engage with the British Government, businesspeople, and the Commonwealth.
According to the President, he saw positive signals during his discussions with both the Commonwealth and the British government.
“We were able to meet the British Minister of African Affairs and Development (Andrew Mitchell). We had a very long chat and the indications are that there is a spirit of co-operation developing between Harare and London, which we will continue to pursue,” said President Mnangagwa in an interview.
He also met with the Commonwealth’s Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland and Commonwealth Chairperson Rwandan President Paul Kagame during his visit to London.
“Thereafter I met with the Secretary-General to discuss issues about our application. I also met the Chairman of the Commonwealth President Paul Kagame; the indications are that so far, the signals are positive,” he said.
Last year, a Commonwealth delegation led by the organisation’s Assistant Secretary-General, Professor Luis Franceschi, visited Zimbabwe and acknowledged that Harare had made progress in laying the desired foundation for re-admittance into the association mainly made up of former British colonies.
President Mnangagwa’s efforts to engage and re-engage with other nations have yielded positive results, including the invitation to the United Kingdom for the first time in over two decades, the partial removal of illegal sanctions by the European Union, development assistance by the European Development Fund, and the invitation of Harare for the first time to the US-Africa summit last year, among others.
During his visit to London, the President also marketed Zimbabwe to businesspeople who expressed interest in investing in the country.
He outlined the vast opportunities in sectors of the economy such as mining, infrastructure development, agriculture, and ICT.
“His Excellency was able to lead us into a discussion with investors here in the UK. The investors come from a variety of sectors; mining, agro-processing technology sector, financial services, and infrastructure, right across the board, it was really pleasing to see this spread of investors,” said Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube, who accompanied the President.
President Mnangagwa was accompanied by other senior Government officials including Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Frederick Shava, Deputy Chief Secretary Mr George Charamba, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana during his visit to London.