By Nkosana Dlamini
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly “happy” to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is due to visit London this September for an international conference.
This was said in the upper house Thursday by Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister David Musabayana when asked by MDC-T Senator Morgan Femai if there were chances Mnangagwa’s envisaged visit to the UK could open avenues for the scrapping of sanctions imposed 2003 by the former colonial master and its European Union allies.
Said Musabayana, “It is true that the President will be travelling to the United Kingdom. He is going there to attend a conference of several countries.
“The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has indicated that he will be happy to meet our President and this shows that the new dispensation led by our President Cde. E. G. Mnangagwa (because of the reengagement policy), has been accepted the world over including in countries like America where the American Ambassador said that they were urging the American citizens to invest in businesses in Zimbabwe.
“This is quite pleasing and this gives us the hope that the majority of the countries the world over are now aware that illegal sanctions must be removed because they serve no purpose.
“This vision that you have and that other people have, we are happy because other countries are now willing to work with the new dispensation.”
The impending visit by Mnangagwa marks the first time a Zimbabwean incumbent has been to Britain in nearly two decades.
Former President Robert Mugabe was a frequent visitor to London during the early years of his rule, but relations took a knock when the late leader’s government embarked on an aggressive land reform exercise that displaced British descendants of tracts of arable farmland that had been passed from generation to generation since colonisation in the 19th century.