HARARE – Zanu PF says the recent inclusion of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son and other individuals onto the US sanctions list ironically on the eve of the US-Africa summit was against the spirit of the former allies’ delicate attempts to renew long broken ties.
Zimbabwe was invited to the high level summit for the first time since the US government slapped sanctions on the country in response to alleged rights abuses, poll fraud, state corruption, among a slew of accusations levelled against then President Robert Mugabe’s regime by the superpower.
However, the inclusion of the country among those invited to the December 13 to 15 US-Africa Summit was seen as signalling a refreshing thaw to the former allies’ harsh relations.
But on the eve of the summit, Washington adamantly slapped sanctions on one of Mnangagwa’s sons Emmerson Jnr, business tycoon Kuda Tagwirei’s wife, Sandra Mpunga, Nqobile Magwizi, and Obey Chimuka, as well as associated firms Fossil Agro and Fossil Contracting.
In an interview, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa described the sanctioning of the group as affront to the former allies’ spirit to mend bridges.
“The inclusion of new names on the illegal sanctions is yet another unfortunate…step as Zimbabwe and Washington strive to normal bilateral relations.
“It is clear that there are figures in the American Political Establishment who hanker for the moribund post-colonial relations with the African continent. This wrong move is in contrast to the spirit of the second and ongoing Africa-USA Summit in Washington.
“This welcome yet belated Summit speaks of a USA that is revising its policy so as to treat Africa and its member nations on equal peer to peer basis as behoves sovereign nations in the ambit of the United Nations System,” Mutsvangwa told ZimLive.
Over the last two decades, the Zanu PF government has blamed sanctions for derailing the country’s economic recovery path, claiming the measures have caused untold economic, socio-economic, and social suffering among ordinary citizens.
Government critics, on the other hand, blame the Zanu PF led administration for presiding over rampant state corruption, mismanagement of the country’s resources, and gross human rights violations.
However, the United States and its Western allies have maintained that sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe do not impede the country’s economic recovery prospects.
Mutsvangwa reiterated Zanu PF’s position that sanctions were detrimental to Zimbabwe’s economic prospects arguing that restrictive measures imposed outside UN’s jurisdiction were illegal.
“All African guest nations presently in Washington are speaking in unison against the arbitrary and unilateral sanctions that hamstring Zimbabwe’s economic development.
“The sense of outrage is more glaring when the sanctions are imposed outside of the United Nations ambit.
“They purposely serve to upend humanity’s goal of shared development prospects. People of goodwill hope and pray for a more positive and helpful inclination by Washington in the endeavour to overcome the residual gripes and needless rancour as the America government deals with Zimbabwe and Africa at large,” said Mutsvangwa. – ZimLive