Harare (New Ziana) – Outgoing South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mphakama Mbete on Monday said he is leaving Harare a satisfied man after overseeing an intensification of bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries during his tenure.
Mbete was speaking after bidding farewell to President Emerson Mnangagwa at State House.
“One of the highlights (of my tenure) is the intensification, by my mission and my self, on the area of economic relations, engaging South African companies involved in work in Zimbabwe, engaging economic organisations in Zimbabwe to try and understand the key priorities that should be there between the two countries.
“I think there has been a lot of progress in that and there have been a few investors that came from South Africa during my period here, so I have a lot of hope for the future,” he said.
On the political front, Mbete said during the recent meeting between the governing parties of the two countries, the ANC and Zanu PF had agreed to put more emphasis on improving economic relations.
“This is in line with the pronouncements of the Presidents of the two countries as they started their terms of services where they said they want to focus on economic development of their two countries.”
He said South Africa would continue supporting Zimbabwe, and highlighted that the purported political challenges the country was facing were not unique.
“Each of our countries have their own political dynamics, this is normal in a democracy, so Zimbabwe has its fair share of political dynamics as you know our approach in South Africa is to always encourage, in our own country and in other countries, dialogue so we are optimistic that there will be more dialogue in Zimbabwe and a bit more understanding between the different political players in Zimbabwe.
“I think that we have been able to understand and capture and explain the situation in Zimbabwe in the best possible way that we could at a time when there were so many developments since 2016 when I came until now to our country and that has helped our country understand, adapt and upgrade its engagement with Zimbabwe so I would hope that this will continue with the incoming ambassador from South Africa.”