By Byron Mutingwende
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Jacob Mudenda has made a passionate appeal to the African Union (AU) Ambassador to the United States of America to facilitate re-engagement between Harare and Washington. Mudenda registered the request during a courtesy call by members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) at the August House on 5 February 2018.
“I am pleased by the Ambassador of the AU to the US statement that she is prepared to ameliorate the relationship between the US and Zimbabwe particularly on the question of lifting of sanctions. I am also delighted by the US President’s positive attitude towards heightening re-engagement with Zimbabwe at Executive Level with President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” Mudenda said.
The Speaker said there was need for the foreign affairs committees of the US Congress and that of Zimbabwe to meet and facilitate re-engagement that would lead to cordial relations between the two countries.
“Zimbabwe needs funding to reconstruct its infrastructure and develop social service delivery, education and the health sectors. We desire to have a basket fund to ensure that the country can leap forward in terms of development. The President noted that the country is 20 years behind in terms of development. We look forward to serious engagement with the US and the international community. We are appealing to the PAP President to throw the good words about Zimbabwe to the world. We need to maintain the peaceful dividend which is key for attracting investment,” Mudenda said as he invited the PAP delegation to sample Zimbabwe’s premier tourist attractions like the Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe had a peaceful transition and Parliament played a crucial role to facilitate the political transformation by following the laid out Constitutional arrangements. Under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe has some breath of fresh air. The Executive and Parliament are working hard to put in place proper laws that promote the ease of doing business.
The PAP delegation is in the country to congratulate the people of Zimbabwe and President Emmerson Mnangagwa for facilitating a peaceful transition that should be emulated by many on the African continent and to lobby for Zimbabwe to ratify the Malabo Declaration.
Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa, a member of the Finance and Monetary Affairs Committee of PAP urged Zimbabwe to maintain peace and security and ensure free and fair elections, which are cornerstones of democracy.
Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao, the Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the United States of America who is part of the PAP delegation reiterated President Trump’s profound admiration for Africa and its people and said the US is committed to working with Africa.
“The Africa Bureau at the Department of State reiterated its desire to work with Africans on developmental issues. The good people of the US will see sense and reason to support Zimbabwe’s new dispensation. The people of Zimbabwe have suffered a lot and there is need to turn the corner,” Ambassador Quao said.