Zimbabwe President says no nation, however strong and mighty, chooses friends or dictates enemies for us


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Zimbabwe must aim to be a country where diverse capital and business cultures meet and interact competitively because reliance on capital and business culture from any one market does not the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said today.

Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail said reliance on one market makes Zimbabwe vulnerable, especially in the current global environment of shifting competencies, attitudes, interests and alliances.

“We must cast our net wider so we get good investors and partnerships where gain in mutual. Above all, we must angle for actors who share our vision of domesticating value addition and strategic value chains in line with our National Development Strategy 1,” he said.

“The key lesson from current global turbulence is economic sovereignty. We should break free from any limiting outlooks and linkages, including those foist on us by colonial history. We are not owned by any country, wedded to any region or hemisphere.

“While we belong to Africa, our hunt takes us worldwide, in search of those inputs we need as an economy, as an ambitious people, and as a going nation. As we proclaimed at the beginning of the Second Republic, we are friends to all and enemy to none. We thus should not hesitate to push frontiers of friendship in all directions of the globe.

“Our interests select our friends. No nation, however strong and mighty, chooses friends or dictates enemies for us. We respect all races, nationalities, peoples and nations of the world. We expect no less in return. This is why we engage and re-engage, hoping for and deserving reciprocity at every instance.”

The United States has been piling pressure on Zimbabwe to sever relations with Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine through a law passed in April called the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act.

After listing a number of projects currently under way in the country, Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe is defiantly in the middle of a bold, irreversible forward march, even against veritable external shocks and numerous impediments placed in her way.

“The current turbulence in the global arena has not and should not dampen us; rather, it should spur us on, tickle creativity and bolster our resolve to emerge stronger and more resilient. We have what it takes, and strong partners ready to walk with us,” the President said.

“Our quest for greater, broad-based investments, both local and global, is beginning to bear fruit. We are now attracting capital from across the world, including from non-traditional sources. This ensures diversity and richness which come with different business traditions and cultures, thus challenging the bane of corporate inbreeding we have suffered from since Independence.

“Enterprises who owe their birth and business culture to the UDI era of monopolies, oligopolies and State protectionism, should sense that the operating environment is fast changing. Equally, Government’s expectations will be less sympathetic to gratuitous calls for repeated protection by corporates who intercept benefits from State support through extortionate pricing of goods and services.

“We have tried moral persuasion which some in business mistake for weakness. We may now need to devise new strategies which ensure the consumer is respected and benefits from opportunities availed to the market by Government through benefiting corporates.”

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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