20 August 2018

Zimbabwe: 'We Won't Lose Sleep Over US Embargo'

Photo: allafrica.com
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa and U.S. President Donald Trump (file photo).

Windhoek, Namibia — ZIMBABWE will not mourn over the imposition of sanctions by the United States of America, but will instead maximise exploitation of its vast natural resources and ensure a better life for its citizens, President Mnangagwa has said.

US President Donald Trump last week signed into law the amended Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act (ZIDERA) aimed at continued sanctions against Zimbabwe.

In an interview with the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) on the sidelines of the 38th Sadc summit in Windhoek, over the weekend, President Mnangagwa said besides the US, there were several other countries in the world co-operating with Zimbabwe.

"If we are going to cry because some capital elsewhere is imposing sanctions, then we will fail our nation," he said when asked about the illegal economic embargo.

President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe will fully utilise its resources for economic prosperity.

"We must look at the resources which we have and utilise those resources that we have to the maximum for the benefit of our country," he said.

"Number two, we are enjoying support from Sadc and we must co-operate with Sadc. Number three, we enjoy support from the AU. Again we must exploit that support from the continent and succeed. Number four, we enjoy support from other countries other than America."

President Mnangagwa - who is emerging from victory in the July 30 harmonised elections - said Zimbabwe would not cry over the illegal sanctions.

"America is not the only country in the world," he said. "There are so many other countries - Brazil, co-operating with the BRICS, we have China, Russia, and South Africa. We have India. All these countries are co-operating. Why would we cry?"

When the US and the West imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe close to two decades ago, they cited violation of human rights, closure of the democratic space, violence during elections, among things blamed on the then president, Mr Robert Mugabe's style of governance.

When he assumed office last November following the resignation of Mr Mugabe, President Mnangagwa corrected the wrongs by his predecessor by opening up the democratic space, opening Zimbabwe for investment, respecting human rights and delivering a historic peaceful, fair, transparent and credible election on July 30.

The US, however, started processes to impose sanctions well before the elections and proceeded to effect the embargo last week.

President Mnangagwa's administration is focused on the economy by opening Zimbabwe for Foreign Direct Investment.

He has dealt with legislation like the indigenisation law, which hindered global capital from flowing into Zimbabwe and is upbeat about economic turnaround.

Also in his interview with the NBC, President Mnangagwa spoke about Zanu-PF's victory in the July 30 harmonised elections, his call for peace, unity among Zimbabweans and economic reforms.

"It is progressive to advocate for peace, advocate for unity, advocate for love among your own people," he said. "Fortunately, our people have responded very well. We have had a very peaceful electoral process, from the time we proclaimed the elections all political parties participated very freely.

"As a result of the democratic political space in Zimbabwe, in the past we used to have four or five political parties, now we have 133 political parties because they are enjoying the space and air of freedom in Zimbabwe."

Added President Mnangagwa: "And out of those 133 political parties, 55 political parties registered to participate in the harmonised general elections and of those 55 political parties who registered to participate, 23 registered to contest the Office of the President.

"However, when the counting was done and the results came out, Zanu-PF had two thirds majority in Parliament. For Zanu-PF we are extremely comfortable with the two thirds majority."

President Mnangagwa said he was introducing a new socio-political and economic culture in Zimbabwe.

"We are introducing reforms - political reforms which I have mentioned about democratic space - political and social," he said. "We are also busy introducing economic reforms in the economic sector by making sure the easy of doing business, the cost of doing business is improved.

"We must look at ourselves and compare why would global capital not come to Zimbabwe and come to Namibia? Why would global capital not come to Zimbabwe and go to South Africa or Zambia? We examine ourselves and say wherever there is legislation that constrains the flow of global capital in our own country should be removed like the issue of indigenisation, we have removed."

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