gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); US Denies Abandoning Zimbabwe Amid Mnangagwa’s Claims of Favoritism Towards Zambia and Malawi – The Zimbabwe Mail

US Denies Abandoning Zimbabwe Amid Mnangagwa’s Claims of Favoritism Towards Zambia and Malawi

Elaine French, the Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Harare
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WASHINGTON,— The United States has refuted claims by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa that it has abandoned Zimbabwe in favour of stronger support for Zambia and Malawi.

This rebuttal comes in response to Mnangagwa’s comments made during a visit to Russia, where he suggested that America is isolating Zimbabwe due to the imposition of targeted sanctions on some officials for alleged corruption and human rights abuses.

In a statement, Elaine French, the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Harare, dismissed Mnangagwa’s assertions, emphasizing America’s longstanding and ongoing commitment to Zimbabwe. French highlighted the extensive aid provided by the U.S. since Zimbabwe’s independence, totalling over $5 billion in health, humanitarian, and development assistance.

“The United States has been and will continue to be a reliable partner with the people of Zimbabwe,” said French. “Our more than $5 billion in health, humanitarian, and development assistance has rehabilitated health clinics, provided lifesaving medications, and now helps families make ends meet during this devastating drought. The United States is not running away. It is making good on its commitment to support the health and prosperity of Zimbabwe’s 16 million people.”

French further noted that the U.S. is actively helping Zimbabwe tackle a severe drought and continues to invest in the country’s development. In January, the U.S. committed an additional $11 million in food and security support to Zimbabwe. Additionally, the U.S. Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) pledged another $209 million for HIV response in Zimbabwe for 2024.

Addressing the issue of sanctions, French clarified that Zimbabwe itself is not under sanctions; rather, the restrictive measures target only 11 individuals involved in corrupt activities and election rigging. “We are supporting what our president said while in Russia. Apart from that, we want the USA to remove all targeted sanctions imposed on Zanu PF officials, which are hurting the whole nation,” commented Zimbabwean official Davis Marapira.

President Mnangagwa, during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, expressed admiration for Putin and sought to deepen Zimbabwe’s ties with Russia. Mnangagwa criticized the U.S. and its allies for allegedly consolidating their influence in Zambia, thereby isolating Zimbabwe. He stressed the importance of strong bilateral relations with Russia, particularly in the mining and agricultural sectors.

“We are anxious to have more comprehensive and concentrated relations between ourselves,” Mnangagwa told Putin. “Yes, we are a very advanced country; but there is a lot that we can learn from you and there is a lot that will benefit from that relationship. And there is a lot that we can open for the Russian Federation to participate in our economy.”

Despite his criticism of U.S. support for neighboring Zambia and Malawi, Mnangagwa affirmed Zimbabwe’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with Russia, indicating that Zimbabwe will not be deterred by Western influences in the region.