imbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday sidestepped the thorny issue of US President Donald Trump and his reported “shithole” comments about African countries, saying Zimbabwe was open for business and that if he ran into the US president he would encourage him to invest in the southern African nation.
“If President Trump came here today and I was still around, I would be able to talk to him and be able to make a case with him to say Zimbabwe is open for business,” Mnangagwa said during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
Mnangagwa is due to leave Davos on Thursday, with Trump set to arrive on the final day of the summit of the global elite on Friday.
“I believe that the people of Zimbabwe have no case against the American people, nor do the people of America have any case against the people of Zimbabwe,” he added.
“I know Americans like to play golf, come and build some golf courses here, build hotels, and we will give you incentives to build all these things.”
Mnangagwa said his position was that even those “who were against us in the past, Zimbabwe is now open, so to me, there should not be an enemy I cannot talk to.”
He added that while he had been informed by his foreign affairs minister of Trump’s reported comments which the US president denied, “as [the Southern African Development Community] SADC, we are a block, and also the continental block that is the AU, the AU made a statement representing us all, also SADC made their statement representing us all”.
Mnangagwa took over as Zimbabwe’s head of state after the ousting of long-time Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in November.
The 93-year-old Mugabe, who had been at the helm of the country for 37 years, resigned under pressure from his ZANU PF party, the army and the public.