The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe says Zimbabwe wants impartial observers during the coming elections that should be held at the end of the constitution making process.
President Mugabe was responding to a request for Britain and the EU to monitor Zimbabwe’s elections which are planned for early next year at the end of the constitution making process.
The request was made by newly-appointed British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mrs Deborah Bronnert, in a meeting soon after presenting her letters of credence to the President at State House in the capital.
Cde Mugabe explained that Zimbabwe abhors countries which meddle in the country’s electoral affairs and called on Britain not to hold such a campaign whether in favour of his Zanu-PF party or against the liberation party.
The President implored Britain to help Zimbabweans to have fair elections that are free from external interference, adding that election dates will be announced in time for every party to prepare and be ready for the process.
Responding to the ambassador’s question on whether Zimbabwe will invite British observers in the country’s electoral process, Cde Mugabe said Zimbabwe can not invite people who have imposed sanctions on her to be observers because by imposing sanctions Britain has demonstrated her dislike of one side while favouring the other.
On allegations by some British government officials that he must go, Cde Mugabe said he is not going anywhere as he has a party to run.
However, President Mugabe said despite everything that has happened between Zimbabwe and Britain, there is room for dialogue and history has a track record of co-operation between Zanu-PF and past Conservative governments of the United Kingdom.
The British ambassador said she had brought greetings from Queen Elizabeth II who said Zimbabwe is a country of great importance to the UK and that she would want to get weekly reports from the new ambassador.
The new UK ambassador to Zimbabwe has vast knowledge of work in the European Union.
Reading a prepared statement soon after her meeting with Cde Mugabe after presenting her credentials, she spoke about the GPA and free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, President Mugabe has also received letters of credence from five new ambassadors who have come to represent their countries in Zimbabwe.
They are from India, Brazil, Nigeria, Germany and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
First was the new Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr. Jeitendar Kumar Triphati who said that despite a lot of partnership projects that his country has partnered with Zimbabwe, more still needs to be done to further cement and deepen cooperation.
Mr. Triphati, who was accompanied by a delegation of staff from his embassy, said he would like to see more exchanges of expertise in the mining and agricultural sectors.
Indian companies are major buyers of Zimbabwe’s Marange diamonds and the Asian country has also partnered Zimbabwe in the SMEs sector through the provision of machinery to the tune of US$5 million at the Harare Institute of Technology.
India also provides over 30 slots for capacity building and human resources training to Zimbabwean nationals every year.
In this regard, the new ambassador announced that India is offering 160 scholarships to Zimbabweans to study at Indian universities.
India is also working with Zimbabwe in a big way to establish a diamond polishing and cutting plant to add value to the resource.
An Indian steel company, Essar Holdings has also partnered Zimbabwe in a big way through the resuscitation project of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, now New Zimsteel.
The new Brazilian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Marcia Maro Da Silva also presented her letters of credence to Cde Mugabe.
Brazil has set aside some US$300 million for the more food for Africa programme and Zimbabwe has already started benefiting from it through agricultural mechanisation for the provision of machinery and equipment.
An agreement for US$98,6 million was signed in February this year to contribute towards this cause.
Some Brazilian companies have expressed interest in cooperating with Zimbabwe in energy production, particularly ethanol production and hydro-electricity.
The new Nigerian ambassador to Zimbabwe is Mr. Mamman Nuhu.
Nigeria and Zimbabwe are both members of the African Union, NAM, UN and others.
The new German ambassador and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic’s representative to Zimbabwe, Mr. Mohamed Sheij Saleh also presented their credentials.