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Zim-EU relations open new chapter: ED

Local News
President Emmerson Mnangagwa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says improved relations with the European Union (EU) have opened a new chapter that has seen the country receiving US$47 million in aid for the Health ministry and funding for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

Mnangagwa made the remarks in his weekly column in a State-run weekly newspaper yesterday, saying such funding was previously channelled through non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

He also sang praises for the new EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Jobst von Kirchmann.

“Noteworthy is the remarkable diplomatic warmth now between us and the European Union (EU) achieved in a short time. Only last week, the EU bloc launched its Team Europe, a rubric under which the 27 countries comprising the bloc will co-ordinate and consolidate relations with us, this time through the government, and in support of our priorities under the government’s National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1).

“This is the first time that the EU has disbursed directly to Zimbabwe through the structures of our government. All along, relations were conducted asymmetrically and unconventionally through NGOs. The bloc has already announced a €400 million facility to run for the next couple of years, including to the private sector through its European Investment Bank,” Mnangagwa said.

“I want to acknowledge and applaud the salutary role played by the EU ambassador, His Excellency Jobst von Kirchmann. It was only recently, on October 12, 2022, that I received him at the State House. Yes, he has been able to steer our relations in a new, positive direction in a short time,” he added.

At the signing ceremony last week, Kirchmann said the EU was committed to supporting Zimbabwe to hold credible and peaceful elections in 2023 and beyond.

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