Zimbabweans pin hopes on ED as he attends maiden UNGA Summit

Zimbabweans pin hopes on ED as he attends maiden UNGA Summit
Published: 20 September 2018 (227 Views)
Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is attending his maiden United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) summit amid rising confidence in his leadership back home. Mnangagwa won this year's elections, a victory which was later confirmed by the Constitutional Court after the opposition challenged the electoral outcome and Zimbabweans hope he will use the UNGA summit to articulate the country's position, reassure the international community and sow seeds of cooperation.

This year's summit is being held under the theme "Making the United Nations relevant to all people: Global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies."

Mnangagwa's predecessor, Robert Mugabe had become famous for using the UNGA summit as a platform to defy western imperialism, a position some argued hurt the country more than it achieved any milestones. Since assuming office in November 2017, Mnangagwa has however proved to be a refreshing and more progressive departure from Mugabe, leading his mandate with the stance that "Zimbabwe is open for business."

The international investor community is responding warmly to the stance, with investments trickling in, the latest being the $250 million line of credit extended to Government by the London-based Germcorp Group.

On his part, Mnangagwa made refreshing changes back home, including opening up the political space. The 2018 elections witnessed free and fair campaigns by both the opposition and ruling party. After elections, he announced a lean Cabinet which includes technocrats and young blood, and retired individuals who were seen as bogging down Government.

The logical expectation therefore is that Mnangagwa will use his maiden appearance at the UNGA summit to market Zimbabwe as an awakening giant in Africa, open for business. And true to his pledge of opening up the country for business, Mnangagwa included in his entourage, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube and Reserve Bank Governor Dr John Mangudya.

"My only hope as a Zimbabwean is that President Mnangagwa uses UNGA to market our country and its investment opportunities. Times of going there to shout at Bush or Blair are past, we need to move forward", said Harare resident, David Simbiyaora.

The 73rd session of the UN General Assembly opened on 18 September 2018. The first day of the high-level General Debate will be Tuesday, 25 September 2018, and is scheduled to last for nine working days.


- Bruce Zvandasara

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