Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa leaves for United Nations

Mnangagwa leaves for United Nations

Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa last night left for the 73rd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly, where he will join other world leaders in discussing how best to create equitable and peaceful societies.

The 76-year-old leader, who won a disputed election in July, left aboard an Air Zimbabwe 767 aircraft with a large entourage.

President Mnangagwa was seen off at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by senior Government officials.

Vice President Mohadi is the Acting President.

Mnangagwa, accused of human rights abuses, has been under personal United States travel sanctions since 2001 and will be limited to a 25-mile radius of the United Nations headquarters.

Zimbabwe's president, Emmerson Mnangagwa
Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, speaks during Africa CEO Forum at the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Ivory Coast March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Luc Gnago/File Photo

He will use his speech at the United Nations to try and market himself as a reformer, his less inspiring public speaking style replacing the eloquence of former President Robert Mugabe, who had appeared on the UN podium for 37 years before his ouster in a military coup last November.

Mnangagwa, seeking friends with deep pockets to fend off a looming economic implosion, will employ expensive international lobbyists to try and secure meetings with first world leaders and senior diplomats, a source familiar with his engagement plans told ZimLive.

The United States of America, whose support Mnangagwa desperately seeks, remains unconvinced by his reform agenda and has told him to “walk the talk” before a thawing of relations can be contemplated.

The US says Mnangagwa must fully amend draconian legislation to bring it in line with the 2013 constitution and has placed a high premium on a credible investigation into the August 1 shooting death of unarmed civilians in central Harare by soldiers.

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