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Government implores diplomats to promote Zimbabwe’s soiled image abroad

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


GOVERNMENT has implored the country ambassadors to promote and defend the country’s impaired image through the Brand Zimbabwe project.

In September this year, authorities launched project Brand Zimbabwe project, which is aimed aimed at sprucing up the country’s name under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe has been under isolation from former traditional global allies such as United Kingdom and America over allegations of human rights abuses and bad governance.

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Speaking at a senior government management and ambassadors’ retreat in Bulawayo Thursday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa told diplomats that the country’s image suffered a major setback in 2000 following the controversial land reform programme.

“Our national brand suffered from the assault on our image by the West following the fast track land reform programme of 2000 in which the government compulsorily acquired excess agricultural land from former white commercial farmers and redistributed it to the black majority from whose ancestors it had been forcibly taken by white settlers.

“Britain then sold the dispute to other western countries and the United States, mobilising them to impose illegal sanctions on our country.

“In addition to serving as retribution to force our government to stop and reverse the move, the sanctions were also meant to hurt the ordinary citizens so that they could revolt against the government and remove it from power, replacing it with one, which would be subordinate to the West,” claimed Mutsvangwa.

The senior minister said ambassadors bear a special responsibility in promoting and maintaining a strong brand for the country.

She said the diplomats have also the onus of defending and promoting all the country’s aspect including, politics, defence, security, culture, investments and trade relations.

“Our friends, potential partners, foes, and all those that are interested in the country come to you first before they land in our country. You are the first image of the country that they encounter, and as such we will often be judged or commended through you.

“You often deal with Zimbabweans in the diaspora that have a special role in the Brand Zimbabwe exercise. Brand Zimbabwe cannot be achieved without your serious engagement and commitment,” she said.

The minister revealed her ministry was currently working on investment information package, which they will distribute to embassies.

“This should be fairly easy to do, considering the policies and strides of the Second Republic,”said Mutsvangwa.

To ensure the success of the project, the minister said her ministry has so far held a consultative meeting with the private sector “in the true spirit of inclusivity.”

“In this meeting we highlighted the necessity of some brands to raise their competitive edge and become the key pillars of the Zimbabwe national brand.

“In this meeting we also highlighted the need to promote the buying of Zimbabwean products to promote our industries and innovation that many of our youths are engaged in as a way to help restore our national pride as Zimbabweans,” she added.