Moyo speaks tough, vows to recall ambassadors who fail to boost Zim exports

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By Alois Vinga

FOREIGN Affairs and Trade Minister, Sibusiso Moyo has vowed to recall Zimbabwe’s ambassadors posted in foreign countries if they failed to contribute towards reaching the country’s export growth target of 10%.

Moyo was speaking at an exporters’ breakfast meeting Thursday where he announced criteria of rating ambassadors’ performance had been changed to also allow evaluation on economical and transactional engagement.

“Ambassadors’ diplomacy expectations have been transformed to accommodate transactional and economic roles where they must secure markets for our locally manufactured products.

“Every quarter they must also report the progress being made and if they have not met these expectations, they should be recalled back home.

“Any Zimbabwean exporter who approaches the ambassadors in their foreign missions must be served and assisted because that is why they are deployed to those countries.

“We can’t continue to waste money paying these ambassadors when they are not contributing to the economy,” he said.

The senior government official bemoaned the country’s subdued export returns despite all the efforts placed by the new Emmerson Mnangagwa administrationtowards opening up opportunities from outside.

He said the Mnangagwa administration has managed to end almost two decades of the country’s isolation experienced under the previous leader Robert Mugabe government.

“If any local company fails to penetrate Europe, then it is not anybody’s fault because we have managed to totally end the isolation of this country.

“Never mind about the few waters which were splashed on me when I was in the United Kingdom. That was just a minor incident.

“With the United States, we are now talking and we can now sit on the table and enjoy a glass of whisky together and we can now identify our differences through dialogue advising each other how best to move in a particular direction,

“So the only thing which remains between us is that outdated piece of paper which is no longer relevant to the contemporary situation in Zimbabwe called the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act,” he said of the US sanctions law against Zimbabwe.

Moyo added that a lot of United States companies were flocking to Zimbabwe seeking to explore the diverse investment opportunities.