Mnangagwa reiterates commitment to AU, calls for strengthened relations

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to hold fair elections and heal rifts

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) — Zimbabwe’s new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in his first appearance to the African Union (AU) as president on Saturday reiterated Zimbabwe’s full commitment to the pan-African block.

Mnangagwa, who commended Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe as “a true pan-Africanist,” also called on AU and its member states for strengthened socioeconomic partnership.

Mnangagwa made the remarks during the New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s (NEPAD) meeting held on the sidelines of the 30th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

“Zimbabwe proudly belongs to this big and happy family, the AU, and it pledges its commitment and readiness to remain fully engaged in all activities of the continent,” he stressed.

Mnangagwa further indicated his government’s readiness to work together with African countries through bilateral and multilateral partnerships.

“My government has introduced new economic policies designed to resuscitate the economy by attracting local and foreign direct investment into our country as well as promoting trade and tourism,” he said.

“Our message for our friends and partners in Africa and beyond is that Zimbabwe is open for business,” Mnangagwa added.

He also noted the new administration’s aspirations to reengage with Zimbabwe’s partners “with a view to addressing past misunderstandings.”

Mnangagwa further called on the AU and NEPAD to help the realization of the southern African country’s ambitions in all endeavors.

With regard to Mugabe, Mnangagwa said that the former president is “very fine and well taken care of by the new dispensation.”

“The preservation of his legacy, which we are very proud of, is of paramount importance for us as a nation,” he said.

“Now that President Mugabe has joined the unique club of elder statesmen of our continent, it is my hope that Zimbabwe and the continent at large will continue to draw from his deep reservoir of wisdom and experience as we endeavor to achieve goals we set for our regional vision: Agenda 2063,” Mnangagwa said.