Joseph Madzimure and Wallace Ruzvidzo
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday congratulated Britain’s Mr Boris Johnson who defeated rival Jeremy Hunt in the contest to replace Theresa May as Conservative Party leader and British prime minister.
Mr Johnson, a former mayor of London, beat his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, by 92 153 votes to 46 656, winning 66 percent of the vote.
As leader of the largest party in parliament, Mr Johnson will be invited by the Queen to form a government today following the formal resignation of the incumbent prime minister, Theresa May — who failed to deliver on the process of extricating Britain from the European Union (EU) bloc as demanded by Britons in a referendum three years ago.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Johnson told the Conservative Party supporters that there would be people around the country “who will question the wisdom of your decision”.
Before his election as British prime minister, Mr Johnson served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, resigning in 2018.
Zimbabwe congratulated the incoming leader.
Posting on his Twitter handle yesterday, President Mnangagwa said: “Congratulations @BorisJohnson on your election as leader of the Conservative Party and on becoming Prime Minister of the UK. I wish you good luck for the journey ahead, and look forward to building ever closer ties between our two nations under your leadership.”
Mr Johnson is on record as supporting Zimbabwe’s rejoining the Commonwealth, which the country abandoned in 2003 amid acrimonious relations between Harare and London.
But as part of President Mnangagwa’s diplomatic thrust anchored on “engagement and re-engagement”, rejoining the Club is considered key in mending relations and ensuring that Zimbabwe is reintegrated into the global family of nations.
Recently, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo, who toured the United Kingdom, related to a meeting with Zimbabweans that he had met Mr Johnson over Commonwealth.
“I can assure you that the meeting I had with Honourable Boris Johnson and other foreign ministers from the Commonwealth, they actually declared a lot of solidarity, support, encouragement and actually welcomed Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth, but we are saying as the executive, as people who lead the people, we do not want to run as the executive and join the Commonwealth and then leave the people behind. We want to make sure that we are together with the people, we are in it with the people because we are a listening dispensation. What you want is what we will do,” said Minister Moyo.
Meanwhile, President of the United States of America Donald Trump has also congratulated Mr Johnson saying he will make a “great” Prime Minister.
The US President tweeted his best wishes to the man who will take the reins in Britain.
“He will be great!” said Trump