The Sunday Mail
GOVERNMENT will continue to double down on its re-engagement policy notwithstanding the negative attempts by some British legislators to continue isolating Zimbabwe, a senior Government official has said.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana said views of British legislators such as Kate Hoey – a known partner of hostile groups such as ZimVirgil and Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) – cannot be considered as objective.
Heoy, together with other British MPs such as Nicholas Soames and John Howell, moved a motion in the British parliament last week to debate Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts.
“Her (Hoey) utterances in the build up to the 30 July elections are instructive. Her hostility to the party (Zanu-PF) of Government is on record and her ignorant campaign is not informed by a love for this country, but by her hatred to the association her Labour Party has with those on the opposite side of our politics.
“By now she should be aware that this idea of campaigning to keep Zimbabwe in the cold has been discredited. It’s a blunt instrument that has proved to impact more against the vulnerable of any society than the governing elite,” said Mr Mangwana.
Illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe, he added, continue to take a heavy toll on vulnerable and ordinary members of society.
“It is comforting (that) the British government has taken a more measured approach and respects our mutual desire for rapprochement. We also take note that Zimbabwe has its fair share of eccentric Members of Parliament who can come up with unenlightened utterances about foreign countries. “The same way such ignorant utterances don’t reflect policy positions of the Government of Zimbabwe is the way utterances by Katey Hoey should be taken,” he said.
“We of course take note of her position as chair of the portfolio committee on Zimbabwe, but that does not elevate her utterances any higher than that of a crusader obsessing on her loathing of the party of Government and its leadership. There are no surprises there.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made engagement and re-engagement efforts a cornerstone of his foreign policy, which is designed to reintegrate Zimbabwe in the global family of nations and promote mutually beneficial bilateral and multilateral relations.
Isolation, according to Mr Mangwana, is not an option.
Government will, therefore, continue interfacing and trading with countries that are willing to forge relations with Harare. “Whilst as a sovereign country we will do all that serves the interests our people, we will not bend backwards to appease anyone in any way that jeopardises our national interests,” he said.
“We are looking for trading partnerships and when we say our country is ‘Open for Business’, we are clearly saying the relationships we seek our mutually beneficial. This is the basis of our policy.”
The President recently visited Eurasia, where he signed several deals in mining, agriculture, transport and infrastructure development.