By Audience Mutema
DESPERATE to curry favour with the incoming administration at 10 Downing Street, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government continues to shower congratulatory messages on new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Mnangagwa was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Johnson who succeeded Theresa May as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in a twitter message before writing an official letter pleading for a chance to meet and craft a new path for relations between the two countries.
Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo, who was in London just over a week ago, did not waste time after learning that Johnson had appointed Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Britain is Zimbabwe’s former colonial master and its opinion largely provides direction to the Western world on how to deal with Harare.
“As you assume your new responsibilities, I assure you of my willingness and readiness to work closely with you in furthering and indeed accelerating the process of reengagement between our two governments, leading to the full normalisation of relations between our nations and peoples.
“In this endeavor, I must reiterate the words of President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the effect that we should concentrate on the potential of the future relationship rather than linger on the somewhat complicated past,” Moyo said.
Zimbabwe’s relation with Britain took a knock at the turn of the century when then President Robert Mugabe sponsored a violent land redistribution programme under the guise of correcting colonial land imbalances.
Mugabe argued Britain had reneged on its promise to fund the redistribution of land in Zimbabwe.
The UK along with other western powers also accused Mugabe of human right abuses and forced the then Zanu PF leader to angrily withdraw the country from the Commonwealth.
Moyo also indicated he would want to meet Raab at the earliest opportunity.
“I look forward to meeting you and to working closely with you and your team as we build that new relationship and as we seek to realise the enormous potential which so clearly exists in terms of much enhanced trade, investment and tourism ties,” Moyo added.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said he was also looking forward to working with Raab as regards Zimbabwe’s bid for re-admission into the Commonwealth.