By Josephine Mugiyo
Outgoing US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Brian Nichols bade farewell to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava this Monday with various issues including trade relations and sanctions coming under the spotlight.
After serving his country in Zimbabwe since July 2018, Mr Nichols is set to leave by the end of this week.
Emerging from a closed door meeting with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava, Mr Nichols said they discussed a number of issues which include economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and the relations between the two countries.
Responding to a question by journalists on what advice he would give to investors who wish to invest in Zimbabwe, the ambassador had this to say.
So I think there are a number of opportunities for investment in Zimbabwe and we have encouraged that throughout trade missions, like we had the virtual trade mission that you’re aware of I think a lot depends on the sector that they are interested in whether or not that would be appropriate that’s something that’s true in every country, I think the key issues in doing business is the foreign exchange issue. I think the private sector plays an important role in promoting democracy.
Despite the latest comments by Mr Nichols on Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities, relations between Zimbabwe and the US have remained strained due to the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) of 2001 which resulted in sanctions being imposed on the country.
Ambassador Shava said he told Mr Nichols that the sanctions remain an albatross hindering progress for Zimbabwe.
I told the ambassador that the two albatrosses that remain between UDA and Zimbabwe are the Presidents executive orders and ZIDERA . ZIDERA of course ensures that Americans vote against Zimbabwe at international forums like IMF so I told him that those are things of the past. I acknowledged the positives that he has done in encouraging American companies to invest in Zimbabwe,said Shava.
Ambassador Shava also thanked the American government for their assistance when Cyclone Idai struck, and helping the country in health related issues including the battle against COVID-19.