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Mnangagwa gets official invitation to attend King Charles III coronation

In a move that is signalling the softening of relations between Harare and London, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been officially invited to attend King Charles III coronation in May.

Mnangagwa met the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Melanie Robinson on Tuesday at the State House where he was briefed on the arrangements pertaining to the coronation of King Charles III on May 6 in London.

While some analysts say this invitation signals the softening of the relations between Harare and London since 2001 when Zimbabwe was placed under targeted sanctions, Alexander Rusero believes otherwise.

“It is continuity of history and not necessarily issues or reengagement or any propaganda that Zanu PF would want to frame,” Rusero said.

“At no time was Zanu PF since (Late President Robert) Mugabe ever been quarrelling with the Monarch or British Royal. Zanu PF under both Mugabe and Mnangagwa has tactfully never dragged their issues to Birmingham Palace. It has always been Zanu PF government versus the British government especially the Tony Blair led Labour Party. It explains why at some time Mugabe said openly that he loved the Queen and hated Blair,” he said.

Robinson said the meeting presented her with an opportunity to discuss trade and investments between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom.

Speaking to the local media, Robinson said: “Yes, I had a good meeting with the President of Zimbabwe. I had the opportunity to talk to him about the arrangements for the coronation of His Majesty the King, to which the President has been invited and has accepted that invitation and will be travelling to London for that,” she said.

“We also discussed trade and investment including the recent investments by a UK company, NMS, in clinics and hospitals here and I talked about the UK going to be at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, in a couple of weeks’ time in Bulawayo.

NMS Infrastructure, a British company, has entered into an agreement with the Zimbabwean government that will see the construction of five 60-bed district-hospitals, and a further 22 new health centres, each with 20 beds and staff accommodation, across all 10 provinces within the next three years.

Already, the Stoneridge Health Centre has been completed and is now functional.

Another clinic constructed under the same arrangement· that has been completed is in Cowdray Park suburb, Bulawayo.

“We also had time to discuss the elections and the President committed to them being freefair and transparent, which I welcomed and we also discussed a range of other issues of mutual interest for our countries.”

Government officials say Mnangagwa has prioritised a policy of engagement and re-engagement with the West, which has resulted in a thawing of relations with the UK and other Western nations.