President Mnangagwa has said Zimbabweans living abroad are always welcome back home to play their part in building a prosperous country.
Speaking at the memorial service of the late Lt General Sibusiso Moyo in Mberengwa, who was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the President implored the country’s embassies dotted around the globe to play a proactive role in wooing investors to the country in fulfilment of the national Vision 2030 to create a private sector-driven upper middle class economy.
The President said the late Lt General Moyo did not only focus on engagement and re-engagement with foreign nations but also took on board Zimbabweans living in the diaspora, a constituency that remains critical in the development of Zimbabwe.
“The many sons and daughters abroad began to be more positive and actively involved in the national development discourse of our beloved motherland. In honour of the life of our diplomat par excellence, I urge Zimbabweans in the diaspora to work even harder and engage more comprehensively with us here back home, for the development of and prosperity of our beloved country. Wherever you are and whatever challenges you may face, you will always be welcome back home, Zimbabwe is your home,” he said.
The President’s comments come at a time when some Zimbabweans in the diaspora, particularly South Africa have been told that their special permits won’t be renewed, triggering anxiety and in some cases xenophobic attacks.
On trade, the President said the late Lt General SB Moyo was instrumental in transforming ZimTrade, making it the anchor of the country’s exports and trade strategies, to boost the economy.
“Under the leadership of the late Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Lt Gen (Rtd) Moyo, ZimTrade was transformed to be an anchor of Zimbabwe’s exports and trade strategy. This saw that entity shift to focus on export promotion and export market led production and productivity. Most recently, ZimTrade led a successful trade promotion campaign during the Intra-Africa Trade Fair held in Durban, South Africa.
“Together with his colleagues in Industry and Commerce; Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Ministries, they toured exporting companies in a bid to grow our trade and exports portfolios.
“Going forward, Zimbabwean embassies must continue to play a proactive facilitation role for potential investors and markets from across the world as we consolidate our Export Strategy, navigate into the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, as well as implement the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements and other Protocols,” he said.
The President said following the advent of the Second Republic in 2017, he appointed without hesitancy the late General as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
“His task was to advance the national interest, economic diplomacy and the Pan African agenda, guided by our engagement and re-engagement policy as well as the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra.
“Following my change of the nomenclature of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by incorporating the International Trade element, Cde SB swiftly weaved through the intricate diplomatic field with the dexterity of a true soldier. This was in spite of the continuing illegal economic sanctions on our country.
“The late national hero was, thus, instrumental in shifting our foreign policy paradigm to one that gives pre-eminence to partnerships and investments as our country advanced our quest to be a friend to all and an enemy to none.
“Within the ministry, the late Minister SB Moyo astutely tackled the lukewarm acceptance by some, to the broadened ministry mandate, and the strategic shift.”
Meanwhile, the President urged the nation not to drop its guard against the Covid-19 pandemic saying people should continue sticking to the World Health Organisation’s protocols on combating the pandemic such as hand washing, social distancing, and wearing face masks.