14 December 2017

Zimbabwe: Foreign Affairs Minister Blasts Biti and Allies Over US Trip

Photo: ZBC TV Screenshot
Sibusiso Moyo, the general who appeared on state TV after the recent military takeover, has been named the new foreign minister.

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Major General Sibusiso Moyo has fired a broadside at the MDC-T and its NGO allies, accusing them of urging the United States to maintain its sanctions against Harare.

This comes after MDC Alliance leaders Tendai Biti and Nelson Chamisa led a delegation that also involves firebrand pro-good governance lobbyist Dewa Mavhinga to solicit for US support in demanding sweeping reforms to Zimbabwe's poll processes.

They were hosted by the US State Department and Congress and also met global business and the US civil society to place their position on the new political dispensation in Zimbabwe.

The opposition representatives were unequivocal in their demands for the US government to withhold support for the new Mnangagwa administration until it demonstrates tangible commitment to restoring full democracy back home.

Describing the current administration as the outcome of a coup, the activists urged Washington to keep its Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act in place until there were notable changes in Zimbabwe

The appeal was however condemned by new foreign affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo in a statement Wednesday.

He said it was shocking to watch fellow Zimbabweans led by Biti, Mavhinga and writer Peter Godwin take turns before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee to "tarnish and further soil" the image of their country.

Moyo added that it was ironic that the opposition was performing its "macabre charade" just when he had met US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry Thomas Junior for a brief discussion on how Harare and Washington could restore lost ties.

"Zimbabwe's new government has been in office for shorter than two weeks [and] it is staggering that these gentlemen should have expected the deeds of 37 years to be corrected and livelihoods improved in such a short time," Moyo said.

"As if that myopia was not enough, the trio and others requested their American hosts for more of the same policies which have inflicted suffering on our people. How could any serious putative future leader of our country ask that ZIDERA remains in place?"

Moyo was quick to remind Zanu PF rivals US imposed sanctions only hurt the poor and not the elite for who they are targeted.

"All of us should be working to revive our economy, till our fertile soil and trade more competitively so that we all realise better health delivery, education and improved welfare in general," said the ex-military chief who urged internal solutions to a national dispute.

"There is no need to invite outside referees whose own fate has no relationship to ours. Let us advance our political goals without inviting punitive measures by strangers on our fellow citizens," he said.

Moyo reiterated the new government's pledges to delivering peaceful elections next year which he said shall be held according to the SADC principles and African Union recommendations.

"Any leadership changes can therefore be gotten at the ballot box," he said.

"There is no need to go abroad and seek assistance to further harm one's own country. All Zimbabweans are free to canvas for political fortunes of their choice. Let us do this without reversing the promise of our new dawn.

"All nations of goodwill are invited to assist us to regain our position in the family of nations, not as beggars but, as a prospering and vibrant democracy."

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