African diplomats want sanctions to go

AFRICAN nations must assist Zimbabwe to ensure the unfair sanctions imposed by the West are removed, the African Union Southern Africa Regional Office Ambassador, David Claude Pierre, has said.

He was speaking on Saturday while addressing diplomats accredited to Malawi during an engagement with Vice President Kembo Mohadi, who was here for a three-day visit.

Ambassador Pierre said Zimbabwe did not deserve sanctions since it was an enemy to none.

“Zimbabwe has embarked on a foreign policy. The Vice President himself said so today that Zimbabwe wants to be friends with all and an enemy to none. 

“That is the foreign policy, characterised by the desire of Zimbabwe to re-engage with everybody including the West with a view of securing the removal of sanctions and engaging investments with the backing of the African Union and that of SADC,” he said.

Embassies represented at the engagement with VP Mohadi included those of South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Nigeria and the African Union Southern Africa Regional Office.

Ambassador Pierre, who is from the Seychelles, said Zimbabwe had great potential to become an economic power of note, due to its abundant resources.

“We know that the country’s mining and tourism sectors are doing well. When we talk about the tourism sector, we all know how beautiful Zimbabwe is. We all know about the potential that Zimbabwe holds in terms of the beauty that it has and in terms of the number of tourists Zimbabwe can get to visit it.

“I come from a country that is almost dependent on tourism. I know how tourism can bring revenue to our country. We know that the mining sector in 2023 in Zimbabwe surpassed the target of US$12 billion,” he said.

Some people in the Seychelles have benefited from Zimbabwe’s education system. 

“I recall a long time ago that even we, from the Seychelles, which also is an educated nation in Africa, our young people went to Zimbabwe to be educated. Allow me Vice President to say thank you very much to Zimbabwe,” he said.

The desire of the Zimbabwean Government to establish peace and stability, which were necessary for development, demonstrated how committed the country is to safeguarding prosperity and unity, said Ambassador Pierre.

“The fact that Zimbabwe is embracing the African Continental Free Trade Area is further evidence that Zimbabwe is ready to trade with Africa, ready for Africa intra trade with 1,3 billion other brothers and sisters on the continent. 

“Zimbabwe is ready to create wealth for the prosperity of Zimbabweans and it should use the means it has at its disposal to ensure that this happens. 

“It is the duty of the continent to assist, collaborate, and support Zimbabwe on its journey to prosperity. Zimbabwe is embracing one of the aspirations of Agenda 2063, which is prosperity, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. 

“Zimbabwe wants to ensure, in the words of the Vice President, that come 2030 Zimbabwe shall become an upper middle income country where no one is left behind, where no one lives under the poverty datum line,” he said.

Vice President Mohadi thanked the African ambassadors for the support extended by their countries to Zimbabwe during last year’s harmonised elections.

“Guided by Pan-Africanism ideals, Zimbabwe will continue to strengthen and deepen political, socio-economic, cultural and scientific cooperation with fellow African brothers and sisters, with the view of transforming these relations into mutually beneficial ties,” he said. 

VP Mohadi also expressed appreciation for the African Union’s unwavering commitment in calling for the unconditional removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe mainly by the United States and other Western countries.

In an interview before departure, VP Mohadi said the major highlights of his visit included the courtesy call on Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera and the visit to Mtalimanja Holdings in Dowa. Mtalimanja rice plant is owned by indigenous entrepreneur, Mr Napoleon Dzombe, a star business performer in Malawi. 

Incorporated as Mtalimanja Holdings Limited, the rice mill is an investment worth over US$17 million, wholly financed by Mr Dzombe, who is also into commercial fish farming.

“I managed to meet the Malawi President and he promised me that time permitting, he will be visiting us in Zimbabwe in April. 

“I learnt a lot in terms of fisheries, not that we do not have fisheries in Zimbabwe. Our communities are being empowered in Zimbabwe through fisheries,” said VP Mohadi.

The major reason for the visit was to strengthen relations between Zimbabwe and Malawi through engagement with Government officials and business leaders to enhance collaborations across critical bilateral issues.

The VP concluded his three-day visit to Malawi yesterday and is now back home.

VP Mohadi and his delegation were seen off at the Kamuzu International Airport by Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Malawi Dr Nancy Saungweme, Malawi’s Deputy Minister of Health Halima Daud, and Malawi’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Dr Mwayiwayo Polepole.


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