President Emmerson Mnangagwa will not attend the US-Africa summit running from 13 to 15 December, but Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava will instead represent Zimbabwe at the summit.
In a series of posts on Twitter on Tuesday, Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet George Charamba denied reports that Mnangagwa had snubbed the United States.
Charamba said the Ministerial level representation is a result of specific terms spelled out in Washington’s invitation to Harare. He said:
The facts are as follows: The US government for the first time broke with tradition to invite the Zimbabwean government to participate at the summit. It went further to indicate the level of representation it preferred, namely that of our Foreign Minister, Dr Frederick Shava.
It should be appreciated this is a US government event, in which case the US enjoys the right and prerogative of a host, which right they exercised as best they saw how.
With that stricture in mind, the Zimbabwean government decided to send the Foreign Minister, who is already in Washington for the US-Africa Summit.
President ED Mnangagwa did not snub any invite; none came asking for his direct participation.
Engagement on the illegal sanctions will take place at the summit. In fact, a few meetings with US government officials were lined up for the Foreign Minister, and these (are) to take place ahead of the summit.
This is why the Honourable Minister had to leave for Washington from Angola.
This year, for the first time, the United States of America asked Harare to be represented at the US-Africa Summit since its inception in 2014. | NewZiana