13 December 2017

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Denies Urging Trump to Maintain Sanctions

Photo: VOA
From left Zimbabwe opposition leaders Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti, U.S. Senators Jeff Flake and Author Peter Godwin.

THE opposition MDC Alliance has rubbished claims that it urged the United States (US) administration to maintain sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The allegation follows a diplomatic campaign by Alliance officials Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti who are in the US to canvass international support ahead of next year's crunch elections.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said although his party believes the new government should implement political reforms, it does not believe in using sanctions to pressure the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led Harare administration.

"As a patriotic and home-grown political party, the MDC doesn't call for the imposition of sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe," said Gutu in a statement this Wednesday.

He added, "We would like to participate in the socio-economic regeneration of our beloved motherland and as such, sanctions remain an anathema in our political discourse."

However, while the party has given the impression that it initiated the visit by Biti and Chamisa, the opposition politicians along with some human rights activists, were invited by the US congress which wanted an appreciation of the new political dispensation in Harare.

Gutu said his party appreciates the need for Zimbabwe to be re-integrated into the international community to ensure socio-economic and political stability.

"Zimbabwe cannot afford to remain as a reclusive pariah state whilst the rest of the world is moving closer together by forming progressive regional and international alliances that foster political stability and socio - economic growth and integration," he said.

"Thus, we shall continue to vigorously pursue a diplomatic thrust that is deliberately targeted at stabilising our beloved country politically, economically, morally and socially. In fact, it is a truism that Zimbabwe needs the world more than the world needs Zimbabwe."

Opposition parties and civil society leaders have been calling for various reforms ahead of next year's elections, including the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, state media and demilitarization of the country.

They have also called for traditional leaders to desist from being used political commissars of the ruling Zanu PF party in the country's rural districts.

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