The Sunday Mail
The primacy of diplomacy in international relations is universally acknowledged.
British wartime prime minister Winston Churchill remarked at a White House luncheon on June 26, 1954 that to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.
Only last week, hawks in Washington were surprised when US president Donald Trump said he would be willing to speak directly with North Korean leader Mr Kim Jong-Un to defuse the nuclear crisis.
“I always believe in talking,” Mr Trump said at the Camp David presidential retreat when asked if he would speak to the Korean leader by phone.
British PM May recently described the United Kingdom as Zimbabwe’s oldest friend, saying she would want to see the country take its rightful place in the comity of nations.
The UK, she added, was going to work with its international and regional partners to help the country achieve the brighter future it so deserves.
That there is root and branch reform going on in Zimbabwe can only be denied by hardcore detractors and ill-wishers. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has stated the importance of the rule of law.
He has implored Zimbabweans to let bygones be bygones and has also committed to free and fair elections.
His visit, alongside Vice-President General (Retired) Constantino Chiwenga, to ailing opposition leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s residence was welcomed not only by opposition supporters but by all decent Zimbabweans.
This is further evidence of a fundamental break with the past.
It is, therefore, unsurprising that MDC-T vice-president Nelson Chamisa commented, “This is the new politics we want to see, the politics of peace, the politics of working together, the politics of feeling for one another.”
The National Peace and Reconciliation Act recently signed into law aims to address past injustices and to ensure they are never repeated.
The Act also sets out mechanisms for healing and justice for any persons subjected to persecution in the past.
Section 252 (Chapter 10:32) provides for a Commission that will ensure justice and healing and to banish atavistic politics from Zimbabwe.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo has spoken of rapprochement and establishing good global relations in the spirit of the United Nations Charter.
The President is expected at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in a fortnight.
Global political and economics heavyweights will be there and that presents Zimbabwe with an opportunity to show that it has broken from the past and deserves better.
While the relationship between the old Zimbabwe and Western countries left a lot to be desired, things have changed for the better now.
The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, passed by the US Congress, is punitive on both Government and the people of Zimbabwe. It should be done away with.
But due credit must be given to countries that stood by Zimbabwe during its difficult times.
For instance, in July 2008, China and Russia used their UN Security Council power of veto in favour of Zimbabwe. The African Union and Sadc never abandoned the country as the West worked to isolate it.
This writer challenges Prime Minister May to be true to her word and fight in Zimbabwe’s corner.
Although the UK left the European Union, it still enjoys tremendous influence in Europe.
Then there is the Commonwealth.
It should not be forgotten that the Queen of England is the Head of the Commonwealth and Britain enjoys influence over countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The UK should use this influence to ensure sanctions on Zimbabwe are lifted. The association between the US and UK has been described as “The Special Relationship”.
The two countries enjoy an unparalleled political, diplomatic, economic, and military closeness.
Remember, the cordial relations between Mrs Margaret Thatcher and Mr Ronald Reagan? Then there were Messrs George Bush and Tony Blair.
Zimbabwe needs a chance to move forward. The international community should not be distracted by self-serving and disgruntled enemies of progress.
Wonder Munyanyi holds a BL and LLB degree from the University of Zimbabwe where he also read for a Master of Science Degree in International Relations. He holds diplomas in Immigration and Refugee Law and European Law from the UK. Munyanyi has practised law in Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom. He wrote this article for The Sunday Mail.