Deepening ties with all nations including those that once ostracised Zimbabwe is at the heart of President Mnangagwa’s foreign policy thrust. As the President bid farewell to two Ambassadors-designate to the Western world yesterday, he impressed on them to take the message of the country being a “friend to all, and enemy to none” and remain open for business.
The Ambassadors-designate to Germany and Sweden, Ms Alice Mashingaidze and Mrs Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga respectively, told journalists after a briefing with President Mnangagwa at State House that their work was crystal clear.
“My work is cut very clearly that we need to restore the relations we used to have with Germany in the past. We have cordial relations now, but we need to strengthen them, deepen them and even increase them to greater heights,” said Ambassador Mashingaidze.
Apart from representing Zimbabwe to Germany, Ambassador Mashingaidze will also be the country’s flag bearer in Switzerland, while Ambassador Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga will also represent the country in Nordic countries.
Ambassador Misihairambwi-Mushonga, who is a former opposition legislator with a career spanning more than two decades, said her appointment reflected President Mnangagwa’s magnanimity and his ability to see things beyond partisan political lenses.
“The main goal is re-engagement, that we need to deepen relations that date back from the time of the liberation struggle — that is going to be the main focus. There are also issues of development, issues of humanitarian aid, issues of investment, that is the priority and that is the instruction from the President,” said Ms Misihairambwi-Mushonga.
Going beyond partisan politics, Ambassador Misihairambwi-Mushonga said she will be representing the President in Sweden to champion Zimbabwe’s interests.
“When you are posted out; you are not representing a political party (but) you are representing the Head of State, and therefore the issue around politics and partisanship is not the issue. You are representing the President who takes care of everybody irrespective of where they are coming from,” she said.
President Mnangagwa has defined the pillars that are critical in the country’s international relations under principles of the United Nations and these are peace and security, with the country’s representatives charged with looking at national interests, adopting the position taken by SADC and that of the African Union.
However, some nations such as the so-called G7 seem to be resorting to fragmenting the world according to economies and also trying to unilaterally influence the direction the world should take. With the burden of illegal economic sanctions imposed by the West, Zimbabwe’s development has been on the basis of utilisation of own domestic resources to survive, support from the SADC region and the AU and help through trade and other means from countries that have not imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.
The President has also made it clear that Zimbabwe will not be lectured on issues of human rights by some world bullies that often use such to interfere in sovereign countries’ domestic affairs.