By Tendai Kamhungira
Miffed ruling Zanu PF bigwigs yesterday told off the United States of America (USA) after its president Donald Trump extended sanctions on Zimbabwe by another year on Monday.
In extending the sanctions, Trump accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF government of not instituting broad political, economic and rights reforms to necessitate the removal of the punitive restrictions.
Speaking to journalists in Harare yesterday, after his party’s politburo meeting, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said the USA’s actions were as good as attempting to overthrow a legitimate government.
“We are not a colony of anybody, we are a sovereign State. We can’t give conditions to America itself. Will they like that?
“To tell Trump now that we are giving you the following conditions, do you think he will say thank you? Describe us in another language, but we cannot be given conditions.
“To start with, we never had any problem with the American government or administration. This is a historical problem between us and Britain in terms of the land issue. That’s where it started,” Khaya Moyo said. “America never colonised us. Why should they now be giving us conditions and say now also it affects their foreign policy. What does that mean?
“It just means that they want to overthrow the elected government, the legitimately-elected government and we cannot go by that. We are a sovereign State and we shall remain sovereign,” he added.
This comes after Trump raised hopes last year that his government could finally end nearly two decades of frosty relations between the US and Zimbabwe, after he sent a powerful delegation to Harare to engage with Mnangagwa ahead of the country’s elections.
However, on Monday he extended the sanctions after citing little progress in the implementation of broad reforms which his administration had hoped would have been completed by the time Zimbabwe held the historic July 30, 2018 elections.
“On March 6, 2003, by Executive Order 13288, the president declared a national emergency and blocked the property of certain persons, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706), to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine … democratic processes or institutions.
“These actions and policies had contributed to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Zimbabwe, to politically motivated violence and intimidation in that country, and to political and economic instability in the southern African region.
“The actions and policies of these persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.
“For this reason, the national emergency declared on March 6, 2003, and the measures adopted on that date, on November 22, 2005, and on July 25, 2008, to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond March 6, 2019.
“Therefore … I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288,” Trump said on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Zanu PF politburo yesterday dissolved its Harare and Bulawayo party structures.
The party also nullified the vote of no confidence on its youth leaders — Pupurai Togarepi, Lewis Matutu, Tendai Chirau, Admire Mahachi and Mercy Mugomo. The leaders were accused of allegedly failing to defend Mnangagwa.
Lovemore Matuke has now been tasked with investigating the origins of the vote of no confidence petition, as well as identifying the signatories — and to present a report to the party at the next politburo meeting. DailyNews