President Emmerson Mnangagwa has refused to buckle down to the sanctions imposed on the country by USA, saying the country will not develop if it continues to mourn over the embargo.
President Mnangagwa and the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa arrived in China today for the 7th China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit which kicks off tomorrow (Monday) and was welcomed at the Beijing International Airport VIP section by Mr Lin Fusheng the Communist Party of China Vice Chairman of the People’s Political Consultative Conference of Beijing, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Retired Lieutenant General Sibusiso Moyo, who travelled ahead of the presidential delegation, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to China Ambassador Paul Chikawa, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ambassador Huang Ping and staff members from the Zimbabwe Embassy offices in Beijing, among others.
After being taken to a hotel, President Mnangagwa immediately granted an interview to CCTV, in which he talked about the recent sanctions renewal by USA and how his country is progressing in correcting past mistakes.
“If we bury our heads in the sand and say there are sanctions, we will always remain behind. To those who have put sanctions on us, we are extending our hand of friendship, we are saying let us re-engage, engage with those who have not engaged with us before and re-engage with those who have disengaged with us and say what are the difficulties making us not work together, let us dialogue around those issues, but beyond that as Zimbabweans we are saying what potential, what resources do we have so that we exploit them to grow our economy rather than say oh let us cry for those who have imposed sanctions on us to remove them. They have their own reasons, so we are not going to sleep because some people have imposed sanctions on us. So we must ourselves do what we can without forgetting to appeal to those who yesterday were against us and ask them whether there are any reasons anymore against us,” he said.
On the way forward, Cde Mnangagwa said it is critically important to be transparent, admit where policies in the past were constraining economic development and make legislative amendments to improve the economic environment.
“For instance we have the indigenisation [law], which was constraining the flow of capital in the economy, we have already attended to that, the issue of the cost of doing business… and the competitiveness of our country in attracting investment,…..we have done a lot in removing the archaic legislation that was constraining economic growth in our country,” he said, adding that he is satisfied that by each day, Zimbabwe is improving its competitiveness regionally and internationally in terms of attracting investment into the country.
The President was invited by his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping to attend the FOCAC Summit and the two heads of state are also scheduled to hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the summit.
The world’s second leading economic powerhouse China is hosting the FOCAC Summit where President Xi is expected to announce new steps in China-Africa ties and cooperation between the Asian country and African countries will focus on industrial development, infrastructure, trade and investment, human resources development, science education, culture, health, environmental protection as well as peace and security.
FOCAC was established in 2000 as a multilateral platform for exchange and cooperation between the Asian giant and African countries.
In China, President Mnangagwa is accompanied by Minister of Industry, Commerce and Entrerprise Development Dr Mike Bimha, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya, Zanu PF Politburo members Cde Munyaradzi Machacha and Cde Lovemore Matuke, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba and some senior government officials.