ED strikes right tone at the Big Apple

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivered his maiden speech to the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

This was a historic speech, his virgin address after the toppling of long-ruling despot Robert Mugabe.

The speech was devoid of the characteristic belligerent rhetoric that was synonymous with his predecessor.

Besides regurgitating Mugabe’s mantra about the lifting of sanctions, he used the trip to the Big Apple to reassure the world’s political and financial leaders that his “Zimbabwe is open for business” agenda was an embrace of international cooperation.

He ditched the vitriol and combative nationalism to make way to the let’s-make-a-deal businessman, as he invited world and business leaders to invest in what he called a Second Republic of Zimbabwe.

It was a marked shift in tone from populist, protectionist rhetoric to a more optimistic, less strident tone.

He stuck closely to the script on the teleprompter. Even in meetings held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Mnangagwa was largely well received by the billionaire investors, corporate executives and also by heads of State.

There was no public tirade against Britain and the United States.

Mnangagwa’s 15-minute speech in front of heads of State at the UN General Assembly was well measured.

It did not degenerate into an embarrassing rant against Zimbabwe’s former “oppressors and colonialists” as was the case with his predecessor.

There was no attempt to turn Zimbabwe’s internal problems into a North-South issue.

There was no rhetoric of blame. Mugabe’s rhetoric often seemed to date from a different era, when the Third World still regarded itself as waging a struggle for liberation from imperial powers.

Beyond the UN meetings, Mnangagwa’s visit focused to a striking degree on business. He related to his audience as a fellow capitalist.

Repeatedly declaring that “Zimbabwe is open for business,” he promoted a story of economic rebirth.

He delivered a simple message: “There has never been a better time to invest in Zimbabwe.”

His surprisingly warm reception, despite the schism over sanctions, underscored the optimism of many corporate leaders.

Comments (3)

I disagree, his statement on sanctions was very similar to the long-tired one by Mugabe; ''we demand for the immediate and unconditional removal of the illegal sanctions''

Sinyo - 1 October 2018

Saka iwe asi wanga uchida kuti ma sanctions arambe aripo???

Washie - 1 October 2018

Of course sanctions will not be removed because ED demanded so, Mugabe used to make the same demand with the same result...sanctions renewal.

Sinyo - 2 October 2018

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