ZIMBABWE is ready to bite the proverbial bullet as part of a new reform process to position the country positively in the international system, Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo has said.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Moyo was making a presentation at British think-tank, Chatham House on Monday where he told participants that Zimbabwe was ready to take its rightful place on the table of nations after years in isolation under former President Robert Mugabe.
“There is a saying in Zimbabwe chara chimwe hachitswanyi inda (one thumb cannot squash a louse). This demonstrates that long before there was a modern State called Zimbabwe, our ancestors understood the value of synergies, partnerships, friendship and international commerce on the contrary warned against isolationism, individualism and loneliness. (Zimbabwe wants to) end of isolationism by reclaiming Zimbabwe’s position in the family of nations,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s failure to observe property rights under former President Robert Mugabe precipitated its isolation from the world. Moyo said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is alive to this.
He said Zimbabwe was eager to re-engage with the West, including opening up the country to international investment that is protected through binding international agreements and implement other economic reforms.
“As a nation, we are likely going to be making painful decisions and when you make painful decisions you need discipline, you need focus,” Moyo said.
“We are not removing the democratic values and fundamental rights of people but we are saying let everything that is to be done must be done in a civil way,” he added.
“Remember our politics has not been value, it has been a lot of hate speech and we are saying no to that kind of incivility. We are saying let us change the practice and manner for example if people are demonstrating.”
The Foreign Affairs minister said the mass demonstrations against Mugabe last November had opened a new chapter in Zimbabwe, showing citizens had enough discipline to claim their rights peacefully.
Moyo said there will be resistance to change given people have been used to a particular way of doing things but government was committed to push for the changes including cutting down on unnecessary expenditure.
Britain and Zimbabwe, Moyo said needed to work on modalities to compensate commercial farmers who lost their land during the fast-track land reform programme launched in 2000.