The Sunday Mail
Government has begun exploring strategies to rationalise embassies and consulates across the world as Harare moves to position its foreign offices to effectively drive the country’s international re-engagement and economic trade drive.
This comes as authorities begin to walk the talk towards achieving an upper middle-income economy status by 2030, largely driven by foreign engagement and investments from international firms.
In a recent interview with The Sunday Mail, Foreign Affairs and International Trade acting Minister Cain Mathema said Government had no plans to withdraw emissaries from any country, but would seek to rationalise and make them effective.
“Foreign Affairs (and International Trade Ministry) has been tasked by the President to invite as many foreign companies as possible to invest in Zimbabwe. Even Zimbabweans who are in the Diaspora we want to engage them,” he said.
“Embassies are created by one person only and that is the President. He can open as many embassies as he deems fit. Nobody other than him can say how many embassies need to be opened. It is only the President who decides by law, personal opinions do not work here.”
Minister Mathema said the Government was making concerted efforts to open new trade routes for Zimbabwe.
He said the country was on a positive path in its re-engagement exercise as witnessed by the warming up of countries previously perceived to be hostile to Zimbabwe.
The country was this year invited to the Commonwealth Heads of State Summit in Britain before Zimbabwe formally wrote to re-join the group.
Minister Mathema said the country expected a response before the next Commonwealth meeting in 2020.
“We are ready to be a member of the Commonwealth. It is a question of them now meeting and making that formal position that Zimbabwe is back in the grouping. We had never cut any diplomatic relations with any Commonwealth country, including Britain.
“But we are working on that one. We hope that we will be re-admitted soon,” he said. Government has been making inroads in mending relations with a number of countries in the West.