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Minister Says Zimbabwe Ready to Re-engage Global Community

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa (Photo/Irwin Chifera)
Finance Minister Patrick says Zimbabwe is ready to re-integrate into the global community and Harare is looking for new friendships while consolidating old ones.

Addressing delegates Monday at a two-day conference organized by the Southern Africa Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust, Chinamasa said after the country fell out with the West and others over its land reforms, political violence and related issues, Zimbabwe does not need confrontation anymore.

He said the government is making an effort in trying to re-engage the West, noting that Harare expects the global community to equally respond through actions such as removing sanctions imposed against President Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle.

The removal of sanctions, said Chinamasa, constitutes a critical step in Zimbabwe’s efforts towards economic growth and stability.

But participants are worried that despite having a good constitution, little or nothing has been done to adhere to it. This, they said, will make Harare’s efforts to re-engage more difficult.

Lawyer Derek Matysazk of the Research and Advocacy Unit said it is all well and good that Minister Chinamasa is inviting investors to come to Zimbabwe. But, he said, most of them will not bring their money when they know that the safety of their investments are not guaranteed.

Investors, said Matyszak, are attracted to countries that adhere to the rule of law.

Former Constitutional Affairs Minister, Eric Matinenga, and Zimbabwe Lawyers’ Human Rights, Dzimbabwe Chimbgwa, stressed the importance of Harare aligning the country’s garmented laws with the new constitution saying investment and re-engagement are also tied to how the country is perceived.

Chimbgwa pointed out the re-engagement process must start locally before it goes international.

Deputy Justice Minister, Fortune Chasi, concurred with most of the participants saying it important for the country to respect its own constitution.

Chasi said rampant corruption in most government departments and general distrust among political parties must also be addressed without fear or favour for the country’s good.

The conference, running under the theme “Zimbabwe going forward - Consolidating the Democratization Process and Reinforcing Re-engagement with the Global Community”, aims, among other things to bring together representatives from the government, private sector, civil society and the international community to exchange ideas on Zimbabwe’s future, in particular the re-engagement process and investment.
It is sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy.

SAPES director Ibbo Mandaza says the conference is an admission that something is wrong in Zimbabwe.

Representatives of Zimbabwe’s major political parties, civil society organizations, the World Bank, academics, the United States, European and African ambassadors, and government officials are attending the conference which ends Tuesday.