Time to thaw icy relations

President Mugabe

President Mugabe

Stephen Mpofu
The West, in particular Britain and the United States of America, should climb down from their perch on the fence and take Zimbabwe’s outstretched arms in a warm embrace to thaw relations that have remained decidedly icy for years following this country’s agrarian revolution in 2001, which saw land occupied by white settler farmers being repossessed by the government and redistributed to blacks who needed that asset the most.

To protest the land reform programme Britain, this country’s former colonial power, and the United States of America imposed financial and economic sanctions in a bid to effect regime change and reverse the land reallocation scheme, with those two countries’ allies in continental Europe echoing the punitive embargo to try to isolate this country for the kill which however kept receding, like a mirage, to this day in spite of impassioned pleas by some international progressive forces for the West to bury the hatchet.

This week, the Zimbabwean government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs again expressed this country’s fervent desire for an ikhotha eyikhothayo/inonanzwa inoinanzwao trade and economic re- engagement that should see Zimbabwe and the countries in point licking one another in an economic diplomacy that enhances rapprochement as a unifying force in the interdependence of global states.

In an address to heads of diplomatic missions in Harare three days ago, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Walter Mzembi said economic diplomacy shall ride on an enabling legislation and other legal instruments, like the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act as well as President Mugabe’s 10-point plan.

He said: “I shall seek an honest and forthright dialogue with these countries (the US and Britain) in order to let go of the past and explore and pursue mutually beneficial economic opportunities.”

It goes without saying that the West stands to reap handsome dividends from Zimbabwe’s rich natural resources through enhanced bilateral relations in the same way as financial and economic assistance will be a fillip in our country’s social and economic revival, thereby giving Zimbabwe a brave new future.

For example, any financial aid given not only to strengthen diplomatic ties but directed along with technical assistance to economic development will catalyse Zimbabwe’s economic and social growth by leaps and bounds.

Take, for instance, land which is God’s huge endowment for Zimbabwe and for Africa as a whole. The exploitation or development of land should go beyond merely strengthening diplomatic ties to ending hunger and poverty in rural areas by creating wealth for the masses through investment in such areas as agriculture, mining, tourism et cetera.

In the specific case of Zimbabwe, the political decantation, so to speak, taking place right now should not deter potential investors bringing in their hard earned cash to do business here under the belief that there is turmoil in the country.

What is taking place in the ruling Zanu-PF is in fact a house cleaning process which is not likely to continue ad infinitum.

On the other hand, the move is a passing phase that should not be allowed to cause a long-term political disequilibrium seriously damaging the international image of the country with perpetrators deserving their just desserts.

Ideally, citizens of the global village in post-modernity should be seen making strenuous efforts in licking one another, like cows in a pen, to demonstrate the importance of amity.

 

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