Former Mozambique leader says Zim “bad history” must not stifle debt resolution engagements

Spread This News

By Alois Vinga

FORMER Mozambique president, Joaquim Chissano reiterated the need to avoid bad history between Zimbabwe and its lenders stifle the spirit of debt resolution engagement.

He made the remarks at the high level Zimbabwe Second Structured Dialogue Platform meeting prompted by Harare’s pursuit to find a lasting solution with its lenders.  

The nation is saddled with an external debt of US$14,04 billion amid hopes that after securing a workable clearance plan, external credit lines could be opened up and improve the economy.

However, deliberations made during the dialogue meeting hinted the existence of deep mistrust with Zimbabwe’s lenders revisiting legacy issues and in some instances even going to the extent of casting doubts of a credible election ahead of the 2023 elections.

Speaking at the meeting, Chissano underscored the need for the parties to bury behind the bad historical encounters and focus on the positive.   

“History is there but it should not hold the process hostage. It should be set aside and allow for a re-engagement process that is anchored in the pursuit of dialogue and building of trust.

“Such process requires managing perceptions and misconceptions, which quite often have stood on the path of reality, undermining the possibility of a meaningful and substantive engagement.

“Misconceptions are a reality on both sides and should be addressed for the process to take a smooth course,” he said.

He bemoaned the fact that despite Zimbabwe being located at a remarkable geographical position and richly endowed by mineral resources besides its outstanding agricultural and agribusiness potential, its talented, educated and hardworking citizens while possessing all the required potential, sanctions have downplayed the country.

“However, despite all these elements of success, Zimbabwe has over the last two decades gone through a formidable economic, social and political hardship with the Zimbabwean people in the receiving end of a land reform process that triggered sanctions against the country causing untold suffering of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Chissano underscored that sanctions were levelled against Zimbabwe with the people and business bearing the brunt of their consequences as the country was forced into isolation and unable to trade freely in international markets.

He hinted at the bold stance taken by President Emmerson Mnangagwa of choosing engagement as opposed to “village wisdom” which resolves disputes on the basis of an eye for an eye resolution.

“When President Mnangagwa took the bold decision to break from isolation and sought  re-engagement with the outside world, particularly with development partners, he moved towards setting up the Structured Dialogue Platform to push for the reengagement agenda,’ added Chissano.