PRESIDENT Emmerson Mangagwa had a chat with US President Joseph Biden, Canadian leader Justin Tredeau, Vatican representative and others on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Government says all this was part of his agenda to re-engage the West, which imposed sanctions on some 83 Zanu PF officials and 36 State-linked businesses when Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform programme two decades ago.
Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, posted several videos of President Mnangagwa on his Twitter account in which the Zimbabwean leader speaks about his interaction with world leaders at the climate summit.
In one of the videos, President Mnangagwa says: “I’m very pleased that the narratives about Zimbabwe which were misleading, it was an opportunity to put the correct perspective about the situation in Zimbabwe and I’m happy that with all the leaders I interacted with they had a very positive response and are very willing to grow relations with Zimbabwe.
“I had an opportunity to chat with President Joe Biden and the spirit which he has towards Zimbabwe is totally different from what we see from the American Embassy in Harare… He called one of his staffers to say that ‘please make sure that when we get back home I would like to have some discussions with the president of Zimbabwe’.”
President Mnangagwa claimed that he had a meeting with a Vatican representative, who told him that they were disappointed about the targeted sanctions imposed on Zanu PF officials.
“The Vatican is against the sanctions and then I appealed to him that go and convey my message to the Pope and they should also talk to the British and American leadership that these sanctions should go. Again it was a happy exchange with the secretary of state for the Holy Sea.”
At the United Nations Climate Change Conference, President Mnangagwa called on the West to remove the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, saying that the restrictive measures were impeding the implementation of climate change programs.
He added that Zimbabwe has some specific programs for tackling global warming.
“Of the countries at #COP26 Zimbabwe has one of the most ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. This is in spite of being a net carbon sink Nation.”
He said Zimbabwe’s current emission mitigation plans in the energy sector include the reduction of transmission loss from 18% to 11% by 2025, expansion of solar to 300MW by 2025, addition of 4.1MW biogas capacity by 2024, 12% efficiency saving in agriculture by 2030 and 8% efficiency savings in mining.
The President further noted that Zimbabwe’s response to reducing greenhouse gases also include the introduction of carbon tax on all fuel, diesel and petrol imports, to ensure the importation of fuel with ethanol, and the protection of the country’s national parks and wetlands, which act as carbon sinks.
He said there is need for financial resources for Zimbabwe and other developing nations to achieve these goals.