• February 26th, 2020

‘Improving’ Zimbabwe seeks Commonwealth readmission

WINDHOEK – President Emmerson Mnangagwa says since January this year Zimbabwe has started seeing a surplus on the current account. 

He also appealed to Namibia for support in his country’s quest for readmission into the Commonwealth of Nations.

The economy of Zimbabwe shrank significantly after 2000, resulting in a desperate situation for the country: widespread poverty, a 95 percent unemployment rate, skyrocketing prices for basic commodities and of late, constant load-shedding.

He said the surplus is good news, seeing that for the last 20 years Zimbabwe has never balanced its budget as a result of sanctions. 

“This means we are moving in the correct direction in terms of managing our economy. We still need to provide safety nets in the process of giving a comforting zone to our people at lower structures,” Mnangagwa said during his state visit to President Hage Geingob yesterday at State House.

On the basis of using their own resources, as well as the diplomatic and political support that they receive from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), Mnangagwa vowed that they are determined to recover their economy. 

In so doing, he said, they introduced the transitional stabilisation programme that entails huge economic and political reforms. 

“With regard to economic reforms, we are now seeing indicative progress regarding the recovery of the economy. We have introduced several measures in order to resuscitate our economy. In that progress, however, our people across the board have to tighten their belts. We have no doubt that by end of the year, we will see a significant recovery and progressive trajectory towards the vision we decided as a country to achieve by 2030,” he noted. On currency reforms, he said there is no single country that has developed and modernised without a currency. 

Hence, he explained, Zimbabwe cannot be an exception, therefore the country moved away from the basket of currencies towards own domestic currency, which is in progress.

He said great opportunities exist between Namibia and Zimbabwe in terms of investment promotion.
According to him, despite the imposed sanctions, Zimbabwe decided to use its own resources to improve the economy.

He furthermore appealed to Namibia for support in its quest for readmission into the Commonwealth of Nations.

Zimbabwe was last a member of the 53-member Commonwealth in 2003, before former president Robert Mugabe pulled the country out over a row with the West over farm seizures.

Last year, Mnangagwa had for the first time reacted angrily to the UK government’s position that Zimbabwe be barred from re-joining the Commonwealth.
The 76-year-old Mnangagwa had said the view of a single member state, the UK, was not the view of the entire bloc of former British colonies.

Mnangagwa yesterday clarified that Zimbabwe was never expelled from the Commonwealth.
“We made a deliberate decision to leave the Commonwealth because we faced a decision not to proceed with our land reform to remain in the Commonwealth, or leave the Commonwealth and continue with our land reform. We chose to leave the Commonwealth and do our land reform. Now that the land reform is behind us, we are ready to go back in the Commonwealth.”

He said he is happy that Namibia and Sadc support Zimbabwe in re-joining the Commonwealth. 
He revealed that the signal coming from the Commonwealth Secretariat is positive that they are willing to accept his country.

During the state visit, Namibia and Zimbabwe signed several memoranda of understanding and agreements. The areas of cooperation include trade and economic; promotion of  small and medium enterprises (SMEs); information, media and broadcasting; science and technology development; cooperation between Kavango East and Mashonaland West Province; and revenue authority and customs excise.

Albertina Nakale
2019-07-26 10:27:55 | 6 months ago

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