By Costa Nkomo
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says the decision by the United Kingdom to overlook Zimbabwe among countries it invited to the UK-Africa summit was because the once prosperous country has been reduced to a pariah state by the Zanu PF led administration.
The UK government last week hosted 21 African countries for the investment indaba in London with one-time close ally, Zimbabwe not anywhere near the list of invited countries.
In a recent address to party supporters during his much-talked about State of the nation Address in Harare’s Mbare suburb, Chamisa found everything to be worried about following the Zimbabwe snub.
“Zimbabwe was not invited. Why? Because we have become a pariah state. We have become a banana republic.
“We are a ‘don’t touch’,” he quipped.
Added the opposition chief; “People do not want to do business with us. We don’t commit to our commitments. We indicate left and turn right. We are so inconsistent. We promise reforms but then we give people hell.
“We promise to be open for business, we shut people’s businesses including Zimbabweans who have had their businesses being shut by this government.”
Following the Zimbabwe snub by British authorities, government, through the Foreign Affairs Ministry, played this down saying the gesture was in any way not a sign of a diplomatic fallout between the troubled country and its former colonial master.
Ministry spokesperson Shepherd Gwenzi said relations between the former allies remained cordial.
“Zimbabwe-UK relations remain cordial and high-level exchange visits characterise this bilateral relationship.
“One event, therefore, cannot justifiably be a barometer of relations between Harare and London,” Gwenzi said.
UK Foreign and Commonwealth secretary Dominic Raab said the investment summit has seen economic deals worth billions pounds being announced.
“Great day at the first UK-Africa Investment Summit, with £6.5 billion of deals announced today, and billions in the pipeline. The first wave of deals between the U.K and Africa that will deliver prosperity for all our citizens,” Raab wrote on Twitter Tuesday.