(Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe President
Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he is happy with the gradual
improvement of relations between Zimbabwe and Britain and
several other Western countries that had sided with London when
ties between the two countries soured over two decades ago.
Britain, Zimbabwe’s former colonial power, became hostile when
Zimbabwe expropriated land from whites for redistribution to the
landless black majority.
The program, meant to correct colonial land ownership
imbalances, drew the ire of Britain, which then
internationalized the issue, resulting in the European Union and
the United States imposing economic sanctions on Harare.
Since November 2017, the new political dispensation in
Zimbabwe has embarked on a re-engagement program to restore
relations with Britain and other Western countries.
Mnangagwa told a meeting on Sunday of Zimbabweans based in
the United States that the land reform program is a closed
chapter, and that London now fully appreciates that position,
state news agency New Ziana reported Monday.
"We are now talking.
"We have escalated our relations from officials to
"Very soon, perhaps, it will go beyond ministerial level," he
"We are where we are as a result of the decision we took on
the land reform program.
"Be clear, I am not regretting that we took back our land.
"The land reform is irrevocable.
"Fortunately, even the British now accept that the issue is
dead," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.
"We are discussing with mutual respect to move forward."
The president said he would meet British Minister of State
for Africa Harriett Baldwin on the margins of the 73rd United
Nations General Assembly to further consolidate ties.
Zimbabwe, he added, had lived in isolation for too long hence
the need to focus on improving relations with the global
"We cannot anymore live in the past nor do we desire to live
in the past," he said.
Mnangagwa said progress is being made toward the country
attaining its vision of becoming a middle-income economy by
"At the time this dispensation came into office in November
last year, the per capita income was around 900 U.S. dollars.
"But within eight months we have moved to 1,500 dollars per
capita and we are saying that our goal is to reach 3,500 per
capita by 2030 and by then it means we shall become an upper
middle-income economy," he said.
Mnangagwa said the task to revive the economy is a process,
which requires concerted efforts including from Zimbabweans
living in the diaspora.
"I have no doubt that you have gained a lot of international
"The good side of what happened is that we now have a body of
skilled Zimbabweans residing outside and with our current thrust
for modernizing, industrializing, mechanizing, reforming and
growing our economy, we have to draw from this reservoir of
skills from our people abroad," he said.
dismisses alleged 'debt trap' by China
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Sunday
dismissed claims that his country may fall into a debt trap by
China, saying a large portion of Harare’s debt to Beijing was
for projects which generate revenue to service the loans.
He made the remarks during a meeting with Zimbabweans living
in the United States, on the sidelines of the United Nations
General Assembly, according to the country’s state news agency
China has emerged as a key investor in large infrastructure
projects in Zimbabwe and has also extended concessional loans to
assist in the development of the economies of many African
However, some Western countries have claimed that the Chinese
loans, which have funded several mega projects across Africa,
leave many countries in a debt crisis.
Noting that there was nothing wrong with African countries
accepting Chinese financing, the president said Zimbabwe had in
particular benefited immensely from Chinese funding for the
expansion of Kariba South Hydro Power Station, which added 300
MW into the national grid, and that of Hwange Power Station,
which would add an additional 600 MW.
"I do not see any danger where you have a project which
becomes productive in terms of revenue streams to pay for
itself," he said.
"When you finish paying the loan, the asset remains with us
and we will continue to have electricity so I do not see the
danger there," he said.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, who
is also in New York, said there was nothing sinister about the
"We (Zimbabwe) have a very strong debt sustainability
analysis framework which allows us to understand whether we are
over indebted or not, and whether we can pay or not.
"The Chinese also do that analysis themselves and if they
find out that you cannot pay they do not lend you the money,
this is not free money," he said.
Zimbabwe records highest
cotton output in five years'
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s cotton output in the
2018 marketing season rose by 76 percent year-on-year to 130,000
tonnes, from 70,000 tonnes last year, owing to increased
government support to farmers, according to a local online
The output is the highest in nearly five years, Farmers Voice
said in its latest edition published Tuesday.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe expects the country to get
around 85 million U.S. dollars in foreign exchange through
cotton exports this year.
"Owing to steep increase in production, cotton exports are
expected to jump," the publication said.
Under a "Presidential Inputs Scheme," the government launched
various free support initiatives to help farmers increase cotton
In 2011, Zimbabwe produced 268,000 tonnes of cotton, which
fell to 135,000 tonnes in 2013-14 and further to 100,000 tonnes
In 2016, cotton yield was just 28,000 tonnes, the lowest
Due to government efforts, production increased to 70,000
tonnes in 2017.
Zimbabwe President re-iterates
multiple currency regime to stay