Mnangagwa makes Commonwealth return progress

President Mnangagwa with Commonwealth’s secretary-general, Mrs Patricia Scotland in London yesterday
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PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday attended the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey in London, UK, at a glamorous event marked by ceremonial pageantry and attended by world leaders and celebrities from across the globe.

On the sidelines of the glitzy coronation, the President held several meetings with potential investors and also had high-level talks with the Commonwealth’s secretary-general, Mrs Patricia Scotland, in what was a key engagement in Zimbabwe’s plans to rejoin the bloc.

The streets of London were packed with thousands of people who witnessed the first coronation since 1953. King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrived at Westminster Abbey in a procession – known as “The King’s Procession – from Buckingham Palace. After the service, the royal couple returned to Buckingham Palace in a larger ceremonial procession known as “The Coronation Procession”.

President Mnangagwa

After the event, President Mnangagwa knuckled down to a series of meetings at his hotel before rounding up his historic visit with a meeting with Mrs Scotland. It was a key engagement that took precedence over prior meetings, as Zimbabwe is now on the cusp of joining the Commonwealth.

Earlier on Friday, the President met, among others, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; British Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Minister for Development and Africa) Andrew Mitchell; and prospective investors.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the UK, Colonel Christian Katsande (Retired), said President Mnangagwa’s invitation to attend Prince Charles III’s coronation was a sign of thawing relations between Harare and London.

Tony Blair

“Besides the coronation of King Charles III, His Excellency had the opportunity to meet a lot of business leaders who are showing increased investor interest in Zimbabwe right across the board in sectors such as mining, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and infrastructure,” he said.

The charm offensive at the recent Zimbabwe Capital Markets Conference in London, Ambassador Katsande added, was attended by several key investors. He also said the encounter between former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Mnangagwa was a sign of the Second Republic’s re-engagement drive, which is designed to position Zimbabwe as a friend to all and an enemy to none.

“That is an exciting development for us in strengthening our bilateral relations because His Excellency President Mnangagwa indicated that we will be friends to all and an enemy to none,” he said.

The Second Republic’s investor-friendly policies, backed by the robust re-engagement and engagement thrust, have piqued the interest of British capital, with investors from the country prepared to explore opportunities in Zimbabwe. The President is expected back home today.