SENIOR STAFF WRITER
NEWLY-APPOINTED Foreign Affairs minister Frederick Shava, pictured, has promised to continue with the re-engagement foreign policy in a bid to end Zimbabwe’s two-decade long isolation from the international community.
Zimbabwe has been a pariah State since the turn of the new millennium when the late former president Robert Mugabe embarked on a chaotic and violent land reform programme before withdrawing from the Commonwealth bloc.
The United States (US) and the European Union (EU) have imposed and maintained economic sanctions on Harare, targeting particularly individuals and companies linked to both the government and Zanu PF.
When he assumed power in November 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised a number of reforms and vowed to end Zimbabwe’s isolation on the international stage.
However, three years into Mnangagwa’s reign, the US and the West have not yet softened their stance towards Harare.
And Shava, who was sworn into office yesterday, to replace Sibusiso Busi Moyo, who passed away due to Covid-19 in January, has a huge task on his hands.
“There is nothing new, I will continue with the pronouncement made by the president (Mnangagwa) during the inception of the new dispensation that Zimbabwe would like to be friend of all and in pursuit of that we are going to try our best to reaffirm our friendship with our all-weather friends, countries that never left us even at the height of our problems with the international community.
“We are going to engage new countries, who may not have supported us in the past but who want to support us now. We are going to re-engage with the countries that may have been disgruntled at the onset of our land reform programme which led to various sanctions by some countries and institutions,” Shava said
Before his swearing-in yesterday Shava, 71, had been Zimbabwe’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
Previously, he was the minister of Labour, Manpower Planning and Development from 1981 to 1986 before he was involved in the Willowgate motor scandal.
It was a scandal that rocked Mugabe’s government to the core and saw at least three senior ministers in his administration getting caught up in the storm.
He was later appointed ambassador to China from 2007 to 2014 before being given his immediate-present post in New York at the UN.