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Chissano to lead Zim re-engagement drive

Local News
President Joachim Chissano

ZIMBABWE has roped in the services of former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano to head a delegation that will seek to resolve the nation’s long-standing impasse with its creditors and the international community, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday.

In a speech read on his behalf at the inaugural Structured Dialogue Platform on Zimbabwe’s Arrears Clearance and Debt Resolution Process with creditors and the international community held in Harare, Mnangagwa also said his government was committed to compensating white former commercial farmers.

Mnangagwa said during the recently held Africa Investment Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, he, together with Nigerian academic Akinwumi Adesina, announced the appointment of Chissano as leader of the negotiations.

“Mr Chissano is one of our most eminent elder statesmen in Africa and a fort of wisdom. He will be supported by a technical adviser, the former Prime Minister of Mozambique, Madam Luisa Diogo,” Mnangagwa said.

“He will also play an important facilitative role between the Zimbabwean government as debtor, bilateral credit partners and other relevant stakeholders. This initiative is one devoid of politics. It is a national initiative that concerns all Zimbabweans.”

The President said over the years, they had learnt the importance of dialogue.

“One of the key lessons we have learned over the years is the importance of dialogue to resolve differences. It is against this background that we are here today (yesterday) to pursue dialogue as a way of resolving the long-standing impasse between Zimbabwe, its creditors and the international community,” Mnangagwa said, while also committing to compensate all white former commercial farmers who were dispossessed of their farms under the country’s land redistribution programme.

“I am committed to compensating former farm owners under the Global Compensation Deed. I am happy to announce that the former farm owners recently accepted my government’s offer to settle the Global Compensation Deed amount. This compensation process will commence in early 2023.

“There is also a pending settlement of farms under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA). These farmers were regrettably affected by the land reform programme. The BIPPAs are being resolved on a case-by-case basis led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. We believe this is a strong signal of my government’s commitment to respecting property rights and to mitigating any concerns that foreign investors might have,” he said.

Yesterday’s deliberations covered issues to do with economic and governance reforms and provide recommendations that will inform subsequent higher level discussions.

“For their part, I expect our creditors and development partners represented here today, to honestly engage my team on the specific areas of concern which need further attention and reform. I also urge you to continue providing technical and financial support for the implementation of economic and governance reforms.

“We expect these structures to enhance transparency, trust and promote mutual accountability,” he said.

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