Zimbabwe government says US angry over Chamisa defeat

Joe Biden and Emmerson Mnangagwa
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FOREIGN Affairs and International Trade minister, Fredrick Shava, says the United States has exposed its support for the opposition by “grieving” its loss to Zanu PF in the disputed August 23 and 24 elections.

Shava was responding to a recent move by Washington to impose new travel restrictions on Zimbabweans accused of rigging elections and committing acts of political violence ahead of and after the polls.

Election observer missions including the one from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) said the polls fell short of meeting local, regional and international standards on the holding of free and fair elections.

Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the handover ceremony of a training institute for diplomats, Shava said the visa restrictions exposed Washington’s sour grapes.

“Those ones, they will always be ranting whenever they feel that their allies are losing ground. We have not done anything to the opposition except to present ourselves and them to the people and when the Americans look at the loss of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in terms of elections then they think that somebody is playing tricks,” Shava said.

“No one is playing tricks. It is just that the people have a preference for Zanu PF and they have been voting for Zanu PF in this regard. So that cry that they want to punish people who are preventing ‘democracy’, their democracy to take place is their own cry. It is not our cry.”

On rejoining the Commonwealth, Shava said Zimbabwe was likely to be readmitted at the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Apia, Samoa, in October next year.

The late former President Robert Mugabe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003 in protest after the group had extended sanctions on Zimbabwe which were imposed in 2002 following a chaotic and bloody land reform programme.