GOVERNMENT has criticised the placement on sanctions of Zimbabwe’s Ambassador-designate to Tanzania, Anselem Sanyatwe, and his wife Ms Chido Machona, by the United States on allegations that the former violated human rights.
Ambassador Sanyatwe is a former Commander of the Presidential Guard.
The US seeks to apportion blame on Government security forces for the death of six people during opposition-instigated violence on August 1 last year, which was orchestrated to delegitimise the outcome of the harmonised elections which President Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF party won favourably.
The polls had won lots of praise from observer missions and other stakeholders for their peaceful and orderly conduct before opposition MDC-Alliance supporters unleashed mayhem following threats by the party’s leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa, and others that they would not accept defeat.
However, President Mnangagwa instituted an international panel of experts to inquire into the incident and has since been implementing its recommendations, including reform, retraining and upskilling of the police service, the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
Government said while it was pursuing a policy of re-engagement and rapprochement with some members of the international community, this should not be construed as appeasement.
“The Motlanthe Commission worked in full of view of the public and had its hearings televised and run on different live platforms as the State showed it had nothing to hide. No one was made immune to its subpoena,” Mr Nick Mangwana, the Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, noted in a statement last night.
“When the report of the Commission came out, President Mnangagwa made it public and constituted a Cabinet Committee on Reform to see through the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission as well as other reforms such as Election Observers Missions’ reports,” reads the statement.
Government says this was done in the interest of transparency and justice.
The process of the hearings at the Commission had an important role as a truth-telling exercise.
“It is no doubt that President Mnangagwa marshalled the country through this tragic but fleeting phase, with long-term benefits of peace that no one today can deny.
“We, therefore, take serious umbrage at the posturing of some foreign powers who have taken it upon themselves to invoke actions that are clearly out of sync with the spirit and letter of the Commission whose work was public
and credible,” Mr Mangwana said in reference to the US.
“These powers have arrogated themselves power beyond our processes and in this context a Zimbabwean diplomat and his family has been placed under sanctions for ostensibly violating human rights in relation to the events of August 1, 2018,” said Government.
Government says its position is that sanctions imposed on the country are illegal and “any escalation of the same is counterproductive”.
President Mnangagwa has adopted a policy of rapprochement towards countries with whom Zimbabwe has endured bad relations over the past two decades.
However, Government said the rapprochement policy was not “a policy of appeasement”, saying the principles of equality, sovereignty and self-determination in statecraft should be respected.
“We therefore wish to place on record our strong displeasure of actions to undermine Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and condemn posturing meant to fan divisions rather than initiate national healing and understanding,” said Government.