The government says the honour bestowed on Zimbabwe by being elected to the African Union’s – Peace and Security Council, is a vote of confidence on the country’s abilities and thus Zimbabwe will aim to make its membership count and positively impact efforts to eradicate conflicts on the continent.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade hosted a dinner in honour of the visiting African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat yesterday evening.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo paid tribute to the AU Commission saying Zimbabwe is indebted to the commission for the wise and able leadership it provided to the AU during the transitional period in November.

The Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister acknowledged the commission was under immense pressure to condemn the situation that was unfolding in Zimbabwe but they chose to respect the country’s independence and allowed the internal legal processes to take their due course.

Zimbabwe was elected to the Peace and Security Council of the AU for the period 2018-2020 at the AU Summit in January this year.

Zimbabwe and other Peace and Security Council members will be active in the search for solutions to conflicts on the continent and Minister Moyo said the election of Zimbabwe to be a member of such an important organ demonstrates confidence in the country’s capabilities.

Retired Lieutenant General Moyo said the President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has also pronounced Zimbabwe’s commitment to holding free, fair and credible elections.

He has openly and repeatedly said that elections will be subjected to international observation AU and UN will be invited to send election observers.

Zimbabwe belongs to the African family and is committed to working tirelessly with the rest of the continent and the AU Commission to achieve goals of agenda 2063, noted the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister.

Retired Lieutenant General Moyo also noted that the AU Commission called on the people of Zimbabwe to engage in dialogue, adhere to constitutionalism and protect fundamental human rights.

“We are happy that the people of Zimbabwe heeded the call as demonstrated by the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed and the amicable resolution of a potentially volatile situation,” said Dr Moyo.

He said; “The people of Zimbabwe will forever be grateful to you and the African continent for your deep incisive understanding of the unfolding events in Zimbabwe and more importantly for choosing dialogue over confrontation”.

Dr Moyo also said the visit by the AU Commission chair bears testimony to the hands-on approach as he seeks to understand the situation on the ground rather than relying on the media which in most cases may tend not to describe the situation as precisely as it might be.

“I am sure that during your visit you will see at close range what Zimbabweans have managed to achieve and an appreciation of how the country intends to move forward,” he said.

The AU Commission chairperson Mr Mahamat commended Zimbabwe for a peaceful transition saying the world is watching developments in the country with keen interests.

He said after his engagements with various government minister’s, former President Cde Robert Mugabe and President Mnangagwa, he is confident that promises by the new administration of a free, fair and credible election are attainable.

Mr Mahamat also commended Zimbabwe for being committed to the African agenda and being one of the countries that pays its dues to the AU timeously.

Angolan Ambassador to Zimbabwe and Dean of African Diplomats Ambassador Pedro Hendrik Vaal Neto said Zimbabwe has entered a new phase in its national political process and achieved that without any disruptions.

Zimbabweans are now more than ready to strengthen democracy and consolidate the democratic institutions.

Mr Mahamat is in Zimbabwe on a three day working visit to assess preparations towards the holding of elections scheduled for this year.