Zim international status changing: Israel honorary consul

Zimbabwe and Israel had their first high-level meeting after 20 years back in 2019 when President Emerson Mnangagwa came to power. Since then, relations have continued to strengthen between the two countries.

As efforts to enhance Zimbabwe’s overtures towards Israel, President Mnangagwa appointed Israeli national Ronny Levi Musan as honorary consul of Zimbabwe to Israel and the two countries expressed their commitment to boost bilateral and economic ties.

Review & Mail writer Albert Chavhunduka (AC) had an opportunity to engage with Honorary Consul of Zimbabwe to Israel Ronny Levi Musan (RM) and discussed a number of issues from business, investments and the ongoing Palestine-Israeli tensions among many others.

Below is a full excerpt of the interview.

AC: Your Excellency Honorary Consul, you seem to have a close attachment with Zimbabwe, tell us more about that as well as the relationship between our two countries, how deep is it given the fact that before President Mnangagwa came to power, Zimbabwe had a pro- Palestinian stance?

RM: His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa is working hard and very successfully to change the international status of Zimbabwe, which will lead to the lifting of sanctions.

As is well known, Israel has international influence and diplomatic relations with most countries in the world, and in particular with the superpowers.

It can be said that Israel is among the few countries in the world that can talk to rival superpowers at the same time, as we have seen in the war with Ukraine.

Of course this is the place to note the Abrahamic agreements signed between Israel and the Emirates that have a positive impact on the Middle East, as never before.

His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa understands the power and influence of Israel and its significant contribution to the whole world in many areas, and if he can harness Israel to help him, it is a wise and blessed move.

The world is moving forward…

AC: There is ongoing tension between Israel and Palestine. Recently, Palestine called on world countries to come together and restrain Israel, calling it an extremist country that is committing atrocities against Palestinian people. Help us to understand more about that?

RM: To make a claim that Israel is behaving horribly towards the Palestinians is to see reality in a distorted way.

Today, members of the Israeli government are distinctly pro-Palestinian parties. These parties have signed an agreement with the Israeli government to receive a budget of NIS53 billion (US$ 16.5 billion) for the benefit of the Palestinian sector in Israel.

Show me one country in the world that would agree to pay monthly salary and lots of benefits to its Arab / Palestinian Parliament Members who hate her and want to destroy her? It’s happened in Israel!

If Israel is behaving horribly towards Palestinians … Please ask any Palestinian living in Israel, or working in Israel, whether he/she is willing to return his/her Israeli identity card and waive the monthly social security payments he/she receives from the State of Israel, or alternatively return his/her employment license in Israel which allows them to earn 10 times more than they earn in the Palestinian Authority.  We’ll start with that and then we’ll continue…

I have no serious answers to populist claims.

AC: Zimbabwe has been under illegal sanctions which were imposed by the West for over two decades now. What’s your comment on the use of sanctions, as a political tool to punish those who refuse to bow down to Western interference in internal affairs of sovereign countries?

RM: These sanctions were imposed in the previous administration.

As I said, His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa is working hard to open Zimbabwe to businesses and harness the international community to understand that the situation has changed in Zimbabwe and thereby remove the sanctions.

I personally act on the matter and I am convinced that the sanctions will be lifted.

AC: What business or economic interests do you have in Zimbabwe and what has strengthened your partnership with our country?

RM: First of all, my love for the people of Zimbabwe and their strong spirit.

I have been very active with the churches in Zimbabwe for 7 years and there I have met amazing people who despite everything are optimistic and smiling.

Zimbabwe is a country with good weather, fertile soil and a huge wealth of minerals.

I work days and nights to promote businesses in the fields of agriculture, green energy, tourism and minerals in Zimbabwe.

It takes time because of the restrictions of the sanctions but we find ways to advance things.

AC: Since becoming the Honorary Consul to Israel, which Israeli businesses have you managed to bring to invest in Zimbabwe?

RM: Over the past year I have organized a number of business delegations to Zimbabwe that work together with local companies whose results we will publish at a later stage.

It’s not good to offer an unbaked cake … I suggest waiting and showing results and not talking.

It is important to note that all of my activities are funded by me and with the assistance of my investors and not in any way with the assistance of Zimbabwe.

We came to give to Zimbabwe not take from her!

We came to be partner with ZIM only in successes.  I will take the failures for myself.

AC: Tell us more about your plan to open an Israeli academy of agriculture in Zimbabwe, how much progress have you made so far?

RM: We did not make much progress with the academy because the institutions in Israel were very limited during the COVID period. Now that the situation is better I believe we can move forward with it significantly.

AC: How’s the status of Zimbabwe particularly in terms of doing business?

RM: We do business with people first and foremost!  The people in Zimbabwe are great people and the country itself has many benefits as I mentioned.

I personally see Zimbabwe as the land of opportunity especially now with the sanctions. Whoever invests in Zimbabwe now will gain significant fruits on the day the sanctions are lifted.

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