Maputo, 27 Feb (AIM) – Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano has warned Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the Zimbabwean government needs to shake off its unfavourable reputation on the international stage before it can normalize relations with its creditors.
Chissano has been appointed to facilitate Zimbabwe’s dialogue on governance reforms required by creditors to solve the country’s enormous debt crisis.
According to the Zimbabwean “Newshawks” publication, Zimbabwe has adopted a new debt strategy “which will be anchored on restoring relations with both multilateral and bilateral creditors”.
The dialogue with creditors, Chissano said, “will be anchored on three pillars – namely, economic reforms, political governance reforms, and the compensation of former commercial farmers”.
Chissano said he has already held extensive consultations, with officials from the Zimbabwean government, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Development Bank (ADB), and representatives of the United Nations system, among others.
“The ongoing reform embodied in this structured dialogue platform requires the building of trust between the Government of Zimbabwe and its development partners”, said Chissano. “This is so critical in the current situation where such trust has ben broken due to the decades of political mistrust”.
“History is there, but it should not hold the process hostage”, he added. “It should be set aside and allow for a re-engagement process that is anchored in pursuit of the building of trust. Such a process requires managing perceptions and misconceptions which have often stood in the way of reality, undermining the possibility of a meaningful and substantive engagement”.
“Misconceptions are a reality on both sides, and should be addressed for the process to take its smooth course”, Chissano said.
“Another problem raised”, he continued, “was the need to address Zimbabwe’s prevailing reputation problem. There is a perception that in some cases the government does not honour agreements and commitments made”.
“In this regard, it was underscored that for all development partners, issues such as the guarantee of property rights and investment protection agreements are critical, as well as the ability to repatriate profits and economic stability”.
“Investments will not come to Zimbabwe, if these conditions are not met”, warned Chissano.