Mnangagwa “Ongombeya” In South Korea
3 June 2024
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By A Correspondent

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, also known as “Tongombeya,” has embarked on yet another international trip, this time to South Korea.

The trip is ostensibly for the inaugural South Korea–Africa Summit, a high-profile business gathering aimed at fostering economic partnerships between Africa and South Korea.

Critics of Mnangagwa, particularly those opposed to the ruling Zanu PF party, have long argued that his frequent foreign trips are “meaningless forays” that yield little tangible benefit for Zimbabwe.

They contend that these excursions are more about optics and less about substance, with the real issues at home remaining unaddressed.

However, Mnangagwa presents a different narrative.

In a statement released on Sunday, he expressed his enthusiasm for attending the summit, which he views as a pivotal moment for Zimbabwe and the broader African continent.

“Proud to attend the inaugural South Korea–Africa Summit, themed ‘The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability and Solidarity,'” Mnangagwa said.

He emphasized the significance of the summit in creating economic ties, adding, “This summit marks a significant step in fostering economic partnerships between Africa and South Korea.”

The Zimbabwean leader highlighted the strategic areas of cooperation that the summit aims to address, including agriculture, mining, and information and communication technology (ICT).

“We aim to sign pivotal agreements in agriculture, mining, ICT, and more, aligning with our vision for Zimbabwe’s growth and development,” Mnangagwa stated.

He also praised South Korea’s economic trajectory, suggesting that Zimbabwe could draw valuable lessons from it. “South Korea’s inspiring economic journey offers valuable insights for us,” he noted.

Mnangagwa’s message was one of optimism and collaboration.

“Working together, we can build lasting growth and prosperity,” he concluded, punctuating his statement with the hashtags #Zimbabwe, #SouthKorea, and #southkoreaafricasummit.

The reception of Mnangagwa’s trip among his critics and supporters will undoubtedly differ.

For those skeptical of his leadership, the trip may reinforce their view that Mnangagwa’s priorities are misplaced.

Conversely, his supporters might see this as a proactive step towards international cooperation and economic development.

As Mnangagwa participates in the South Korea–Africa Summit, the outcomes of his engagements and the agreements signed will be closely scrutinized.

Whether these will translate into meaningful progress for Zimbabwe or simply be another point of contention in the ongoing debate about his leadership remains to be seen.