The ministries’ permanent secretaries told the parliamentary portfolio committee on Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade that they had also failed to normalise relations with the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) and to re-engage international financial institutions for financial assistance.
The EU and the US imposed travel restrictions on President Robert Mugabe and his cronies and 35 local companies accused of funding Zanu PF. The measures come up for renewal in February and discussions among the 27 members are expected to start soon. The decision to remove or renew the sanctions will depend on the status of the Global Political Agreement.
Foreign Affairs acting permanent secretary Ambassador Ngoni Sengwe said: “Most of the ministry’s set targets were not met. These include desired outcomes like noticeable increase in business confidence and investment levels with the West, normalisation of relations with the West and the repeal of Zidera (Zimbabwe Development and Economic Recovery Act passed by the US congress).”
He added that the country failed to re-engage the international financial institutions for financial assistance.
“Relations with Western countries and major financial institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund have yet to thaw,” Sengwe added.
However, he said his ministry had scored some success in the region and Africa.
“The country scored major successes in that both Sadc and the AU now speak with one voice especially on the issue of the removal of sanctions and on the call for the support of the Inclusive Government,” he added.
Ministry of Regional Integration and International Cooperation permanent secretary Tadeous Chifamba lamented the EU’s lack of movement on sanctions until the full implementation of the GPA by all parties in the Inclusive Government.
“Negotiations with the EU and US on sanctions have yielded very little. They said normalisation of relations will only take place when Zimbabwe is perceived to have implemented the GPA in full.
“We are urging them to take corresponding measures to help healing in the country in relation to the number of issues implemented in the GPA so far,” Chifamba said.
He added that the EU had shifted a little on the sanctions by delisting some companies from the sanctions list.
“The last EU/Zimbabwe reengagement dialogue managed to produce some shifting of stances by the EU. They delisted a number of companies from the sanctions list. A lot still has to be done. The ultimate aim is to have the sanctions removed,” added Chifamba.
Both ministries lamented limited funding they were receiving from the Treasury and restated that re-engagement and normalisation of relations with the EU and the US remained their major priority in 2011.
Sengwe said: “Ministry of Foreign Affairs will in 2011 pursue normalisation of relations with Western countries and international financial institutions. In that regard the re-engagement will involve hosting meetings and receptions at home and abroad.”
On the other hand, Chifamba said Zimbabwe needed to get its priorities right.
“We need to have an agenda. We need to be clear on our strategic objectives at every forum we attend be it, Sadc, EU or AU. We should stop sending mixed signals. Thus far we will try to harmonise the objectives of different ministries and package them for presentation,” he said.
Both ministries are bidding for allocations double the amounts they received in the current year. Foreign Affairs wants $124 million while Regional Integration and International Cooperation is bidding for $15 million.