THE US Harare embassy said its diary was flooded with bookings of opinion makers, celebrities and business delegates intending to visit Zimbabwe to see for themselves “what the new dispensation is”.
US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry K Thomas Jnr, posted on his twitter handle and later on told the state media on Thursday that his office was overwhelmed by Americans who wanted to visit Zimbabwe following the fall of Robert Mugabe.
“We have been flooded with inquiries of people who want to come and see the new dispensation and that covers everybody from musicians, businesspersons and church groups. Our diary is filled with Americans who want to come and see what the new dispensation is.
“We will have visitors from the White House here in February bringing a multi-agency delegation,” he said.
“We will have congressmen and senators in March and we expect that we will get business delegations as well as congressional delegations, church delegations,” added Thomas.
Zimbabwe, especially the ruling elite, was under western sanctions since the turn of the millennium after the country had embarked on a chaotic land redistribution exercise that violently drove away former white commercial farmers off their land without compensation.
The west then also accused the then President Mugabe’s administration of violating human and property rights as well as rigging the 2002 Presidential poll.
Mugabe, until his demise in November last year, was insisting that his land policies were pro the once marginalized indigenous black people. It is not known what his thoughts are since his ouster.
Since his inauguration last November, President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was assisted by the military to topple Mugabe, has not only been promising a free and fair election, but has been saying that he wanted Zimbabwe back in the commonwealth.
The President also told world leaders in Davos recently that Zimbabwe was “open for business”.
This week the new President also issued 99 year land leases to all remaining white farmers whose land ownership permits had been previously renewed every 5 years.
Ambassador Thomas said this was a sign of good leadership Mnangagwa had already exhibited.
“We very much applaud President Mnangagwa’s decision and statement that there would be free and fair elections in line with the constitution of Zimbabwe, so that is an excellent start,” he said.