President Mugabe currently holds three offices – President of Zimbabwe, Chairman of Sadc and the African Union. Each of these offices has its demands and tasks that have to be fulfilled.
It therefore goes without saying that, more than at any other time in his tenure, President Mugabe has to do a lot of travelling in any of the three capacities highlighted above.
We salute him for his dedication to duty that has seen him visit Ethiopia, Zambia, South Africa, Japan and Namibia since January and which will today take him to Algiers on a four-day State visit.
President Mugabe visits Algeria, not at his own instance, but at the invitation of his Algeria counterpart, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The visit, which comes on the heels of the President’s highly successful State visit to China last year during which multi-billion-dollar mega deals were struck, should be supported by all progressive people who know the importance of strengthening bilateral relations in an increasingly unipolar world.
Indeed, it was due to Zimbabwe’s excellent relations with China and Russia that the sabre-rattling Anglo-Saxon alliance was checkmated in the UN Security Council where they sought to hide behind the so-called Responsibility To Protect as a prelude to launching a military invasion of Zimbabwe.
It was due to the excellent relations with sister republics in Sadc and the African Union that Zimbabwe managed to withstand the Western onslaught over the past 15 years.
It is only those who wish Zimbabwe harm who are miffed by President Mugabe’s progressive diplomatic forays.
While Zimbabwe and Algeria enjoy cordial relations that stretch back to the days of the liberation struggle, as has been the norm with countries that supported the liberation struggle, the relations have remained largely historical, with very little in terms of growing them through trade.
And it is in this spirit that President Mugabe embarks on the State visit to Algeria.
As we report elsewhere in this issue, Zimbabwe and Algeria share strong political relations that have manifested in close working relationships in education. Thousands of Zimbabweans have benefited from Algerian government scholarships.
It is economic co-operation that has been lacking and which needs to be enhanced by identifying areas of co-operation. The State visit gives the two governments an opportunity to do that.
All this dovetails with the objectives of Zim-Asset that, given the resource constraints Government faces, bids all Government ministries and agencies, the private sector and development partners, sister republics and the nation at large to work together in championing the implementation of the five-year results-based agenda.
Most importantly, contrary to scandalous allegations by the lunatic fringe of the media in Zimbabwe, a State visit is only undertaken at the invitation of the host country which also bankrolls it.
It is the highest expression of bilateral co-operation between sovereign states whose deliberations centre on networking and strengthening ties.
As the French put it, les chiens aboient, la caravane passe (The barking of the dog does not stop the caravan). We wish the President and his delegation well.