Former Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana and former police spokesperson Mrs Charity Charamba have been appointed into the diplomatic service and are part of a group that is undergoing training at the Management Training Bureau in Msasa, Harare.
Mr Tomana was removed from his post in 2007, but was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the courts, while Mrs Charamba retired from the police in 2018. The two and Dr Nancy Saungweme, another ambassador-designate and a senior Zanu PF member from Manicaland, are part of the group that includes tourism attaches and officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo briefed the group on aspects of Zimbabwe’s foreign policy thrust.
In his address, Minister Moyo said the country’s foreign policy had been laid out by President Mnangagwa in his inaugural address and included projecting a positive image of the country, re-engaging the international community and economic diplomacy.
“As you know, the ministry has been expanded and indeed rebranded to include international trade to reflect the thrust articulated by the President. The primary focus of our diplomacy and our diplomatic representation abroad must be trade, investment and tourism promotion. In other words economic diplomacy,” Minister Moyo said.
He said the target was to see growth in exports from the US$3,9 billion in 2019 to US$7 billion in 2023 and US$14 billion in 2030.
He told the ambassadors-designate that they should prioritise economic diplomacy and not assign it to their subordinates.
“Progress will be measured on trade and investment flows and tourist arrivals relative to your country of accreditation,” he added.
On re-engagement efforts, the minister said it was a key component of the ministry’s mandate.
“The main objective of the re-engagement process is to normalise all aspects of the country’s relations with the West. These include ending Zimbabwe’s estrangement from the Western world, reopening lines of communication at the political level to achieve the removal of sanctions and all other punitive measures imposed on Zimbabwe to unleash the country’s full economic potential,” he said.
The Government in the Second Republic had generated a lot of goodwill in the West but some have adopted a cautious approach and had to be convinced to denounce the sanctions against the country.
He said while the US had retained its sanctions on Zimbabwe, it was important that the two nations were now talking despite their differences on issues.
“It is clear therefore that re-engagement will be more of a process than an event, and that it will be anchored on confidence building measures,” Minister Moyo said.
The minister told the diplomats that it was important to engage with the Zimbabwean community in their countries of accreditation, saying they also had an important role to play in the country’s development.
He warned them against pursuing personal interests in the line of duty, saying national interests should always come first in whatever they do.