By Golden Guvamatanga 

THE accelerated forays into Zimbabwe’s sound foreign policy by the EU, Britain and, to an extent, the US entails the resolution of myriad issues in order to fully consummate the ongoing mending of ties between the parties involved.

Western countries have in recent times been on a spirited drive to mend ties with Zimbabwe after 23 years of a hostility towards Harare over a bilateral issue that was blown out of proportion by an aggressive Britain which had been miffed by the country’s historic and heroic Land Reform and Resettlement Programme of 2000.

That hostile policy by the West was anchored on a ferocious bid to effect regime change through illegal means using their local cohorts in the so-called civil society as well as the opposition in its numerous fragments.

Zimbabwe was also slapped with illegal economic sanctions by the US on December 21 2001 and February 18 2002 by the US and EU respectively to support the opposition’s futile illegal regime agenda.

Most of these sanctions are still in place and, in effect, hideously hampering Zimbabwe’s much needed economic growth and development.

But as the futility of that exercise finally dawns on the West, especially with eternally friendly countries like China, Russia and India, having made massive inroads towards bailing out the country both politically and through massive investments into the economy, Western countries have duly started trooping back to Zimbabwe.

They believe that they can outdo mainly the Chinese whose massive investments have kept Zimbabwe afloat.

We wish them luck in that regard.

Since November 2017, Zimbabwe has adopted an all-embracing policy dubbed ‘friend to all and enemy to none’ as it moves to address issues to do with pernicious attempts by Western countries to subdue its economy and isolate it from the rest of the globe.

But all that was bound to come to naught from the onset as Zimbabwe had asserted its position that it was and had been a victim of unnecessary hostility from the West; a position that has not only gained traction with the progressive world, but one that has nudged the West to be finally in tandem with their senses.

Having reached this critical stage in history, both parties, including countries that have stood firmly with Zimbabwe and helped it to niftily navigate the Western vicious storm, have important roles to play in order to move forward.

Let us unpack those roles in detail:

Zimbabwe’s justified calls for respect and equality 

Throughout those 23 years of Western-sponsored relentless onslaught, Zimbabwe has maintained its stance as an unblemished victim of imperialism and neo-colonialism.

Here is a country that has justifiably laboured for respect of its independence and sovereignty especially by outsiders.

Its position that it has a stake in global political economic affairs has been clear and as such needs no further explaining.

The country’s demands for equality through the removal of the West’s illegal economic sanctions has also been clear. 

It has simply, and justifiably so, asked for the removal of all barriers that have been a millstone around the country’s neck. 

The irreparable damage caused by those sanctions and subsequent attempts to isolate it from the globe is there for all to see and it is only the sponsors of that embargo who can clean the mess they created for the country, SADC and the rest of the world.

As such, the sanctions must go.

On its part, Zimbabwe needs to remain steadfast in its economic empowerment thrust.

The coming back into the fold of the West and other previously hostile nations must never lull it to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle. 

Equally important, its foreign policy must never move an inch.

New possibilities and the EU, British factor 

In order to have a grasp of the country’s fortitude and resoluteness in all this, one needs to be in tandem with the many positive signals that have been coming from Britain and the EU in recent years.

They finally point to mutual respect between the two, a huge wake-up call for the West and any aggressors across the globe.

While Britain cunningly cajoled the rest of Europe to take sides in its fight against Zimbabwe, breaking with the past was always going to be a tough ask for both the British and the Europeans.

Relations between Zimbabwe and Britain and the EU were built on skewed trade with Zimbabwe providing the much-needed resources, mainly in their raw format, to feed its counterparts’ industries.

Building bridges: The Second Republic, under the astute leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is forging ahead with its engagement and re-engagement policy. Here, the President meets former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the sidelines of an international conference.

With the changing global economic dynamics hitting the Europeans hard, particularly the British through its fatalistic Brexit, a relook at their stance has necessitated the ongoing shifts.

Their stance has been made public with both the British and the EU indicating that they are going to remove their sanctions against the country and will work towards partnering Harare in settling its sanctions -induced debt with the IMF and the World Bank.

They are in dire need of new sources of raw materials as well as markets.

They are, however, coming back to a Zimbabwe that has fully integrated its people into the mainstream economy. A Zimbabwe where the majority are now firmly in control of its land, minerals and means of production.

The renewed relationship will now revolve on competition, a healthy tenet for any economy.

Uncle Sam’s melting fighting mode?

Unlike the British and the Europeans, the Americans have been giving conflicting signals — indicating left but turning right.

That is their problem.

Zimbabwe continues to move forward, with a huge spring in its step.

While publicly they brandish themselves as an enemy of Zimbabwe, their spirited behind-the-scenes overtures have not gone unnoticed. 

They, too, want a piece of the mouthwatering economic pie.

To give the devil his due, this year alone they have provided two significant hints towards shedding their hostility against the country.

The March 4 partial removal of their illegal economic sanctions and the recent cutting of funding to their NGOs point towards a mild shift in stance.

This should, however, not be taken seriously as long as their sanctions are in place.

Only complete removal of the ruinous embargo will do.

Ode to the Chinese 

A crucial aspect of our survival politically and economically lies in the hands of our all-weather friends — the Chinese — who have stood with us through thick and thin.

Whatever we do as a country going forward, we should never forget the role that Beijing has played in keeping us afloat.

We will never forget the 2008 veto of the West’s attempt to push for UN sanctions at the UNSC.

We will never forget the support to tobacco farmers.

We will never forget the investments in infrastructure, lithium mining and several other sectors.

Not to mention the writing off of our debt and the unbreakable political ties.

As the country forges ahead, finally, there can never escaping the compelling fact that we are the masters of our own destiny.


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