President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the U. S. government made its recent decision to extend sanctions against Zimbabwe on the basis of misinformation by local opposition parties which are afraid of losing the forthcoming general elections.
The U.S. on March 5 extended its decades long sanctions against Zimbabwe, imposed in protest over Harare’s land reforms in which white-owned farms were taken over to resettle landless peasants, and perceived misgoverning and human rights violations.
Mnangagwa told magazine Africa Report on the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum held on Monday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, that the U.S. senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons, who proposed the amendments to the sanctions law, would establish the truth on their proposed visit to Zimbabwe soon.
“When you look at what they are saying, you realise they are not informed. They are just reading the text of the opposition who are afraid of these elections and they are making those demands,” state news agency New Ziana quoted Mnangagwa as saying.
Leaders of the opposition MDC Alliance travelled to the U. S. soon after the installation of Mnangagwa as the new leader of Zimbabwe to press for the continued imposition of the sanctions.
Mnangagwa said the senators would have the opportunity to meet with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as well as go round the country to establish if it was true that the army was being involved in election campaigns.
Our correspondent ports that U.S. President Donald Trump expressed concern with the status quo in Zimbabwe.
“The actions and policies of certain members of the government of Zimbabwe and other persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the U.S.”
That was the message conveyed by Trump in a letter to the U. S. Congress extending targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe in spite of changes in government there.
The letter, dispatched to Congress on Friday, says that the Executive Order establishing the targeted sanctions regime against Zimbabwe as far back as March 2003 will continue.
President Trump’s letter notes the November 2017 change in government after former President Robert Mugabe’s resignation saying it offered an extraordinary opportunity for Zimbabwe to set itself on a new path that could allow for re-engagement with Washington.
However, like several U.S. Senators who held a hearing on Zimbabwe late in 2017, the Trump administration remains sceptical.
“Zimbabwe has a new President but the critical questions about whether the new government reflects material change from Mugabe’s decades of rule and what path Zimbabwe is likely to take under President Mnangagwa, these are things still left unsettled.
“He’d been closely allied with President Mugabe since Mugabe’s rise to power; he stands accused of orchestrating the massacres in the early 1980s to consolidate Mugabe’s power leaving as many as 20 000 people dead in Matabeleland,” said Republican Sen. Flake speaking at the December hearing.