Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts are everyone’s responsibility, not just of Government and a number of successes have been registered already, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo told Parliament yesterday.
The re-engagement effort was a process and not an event, and Government was encouraged by the successes registered so far and has since identified areas of possible cooperation, both with the European Union and the United States, as it seeks to deepen the re-engagement process.
Speaking in the National Assembly after Norton MP Temba Mliswa asked for an update on the re-engagement efforts, Dr Moyo said: “The re-engagement process is a process and not an event. It lays the responsibility to all of us. Let me say the re-engagement, which has been ongoing for some time, has seen some successes, especially in the EU and in the US.”
Long standing allies of Zimbabwe such as China, India and other Eastern countries have continued to pledge support.
President Mnangagwa’s administration has indicated its willingness to engage and re-engage all countries.
Zimbabwe’s relations with countries such as the US, Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands and other major EU powers, were strained since the turn of the millennium after Zimbabwe embarked on the successful land reform.
Responding to another question, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, said body searches of prisoners were unavoidable to ensure that no one brought dangerous weapons and unwanted substances into jail.
Minister Ziyambi was responding to a question from St Mary’s MP Job Sikhala who asked the measures that Government was taking to avoid treatment of prisoners in a manner that stripped them of their dignity.
Minister Ziyambi said those prisoners who were not yet convicted were allowed to attend court proceedings while wearing their own clothes, as long as it did not compromise security.
Government was taking every effort to decongest prisons, a process that included alternative methods of sentences such as community services and efforts to construct more prisons in order to create more space.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda said only 68 legislators out of a possible 210 had applied for the Constituency Development Fund.