PART of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s thrust to get Zimbabwe back into the ‘league of nations’ involves pursuing a vigorous reform agenda but a key issue that the outside world must embrace is that these reforms will only be done at our own pace.
The message that the US seems to be missing is that it is not, and can never be, the headmaster of the globe.
Try as much as the progressive minds of the world can send that message to Uncle Sam, the bottom line is that the US will never listen to anyone, especially where their interests are concerned.
Despite fervent denials to the contrary by those who are opposed to the progress of the country, Zimbabwe presents attractive prospects for the US.
Countless number of times has Zimbabwe been accused, by the US, of posing ‘an extraordinary threat to America’s foreign policy’.
When unpacking that loaded statement, it is important to keep in mind the propaganda that accompanied Zimbabwe’s Land Reform and Resettlement Programme and the attempt by the US to label this country a pariah state.
Added to that is the reality of the illegal economic sanctions that the US, together with the EU, imposed on the country as reaction to the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme, then the continued demand for reforms by the West becomes hollow noise.
The reforms that the West has been clamouring for must be accompanied by reciprocation from that part of the world.
It should be understood from the onset that the sanctions were as a result of the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme, not the lies the West has been peddling about human rights violations, among other issues.
If anything, it was, and still is, the continued interference into the internal affairs of this country by the West and, with it, their fervent attempts to continuously provoke Harare that is a bone of contention.
For instance, the US has admitted, on many occasions, to working with individuals and organisations that are frantically trying to remove ZANU PF from power.
Does that not warrant stern rebuke from Zimbabwe as well?
Why do we have to bow down to the US and EU demands?
What do they want us to reform from?
Is it not clear that those ridiculous demands for reforms will ultimately result in the West starting to make inroads on sensitive issues like the reversal of the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme?
Is it also not clear that the West has not given up on Zimbabwe and that their ultimate goal is to elbow out blacks who are running the economy in the country?
This is the time for Zimbabwe to stand up to the West and refuse to be cowed into agreeing with issues that will weaken our state.
It was clear that the Uncle Sam who went to last week’s US-Africa Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, wanted to humiliate Zimbabwe — to dictate its terms on our beloved country.
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy posted a boastful, bellicose message on his Twitter account laying bare his country’s arrogance.
“I met President Mnangagwa today (Wednesday) I stressed the urgent need to hold security forces for acts of violence against Zimbabweans including August 2018 and January/February 2019 and the importance of real economic and political reforms,” he said.
Because this is the US talking, should we turn a blind eye on those violent demonstrators?
Should we ignore the fact that those demonstrators left a trail of destruction that included, among others, serious harm to lives and property of innocent civilians?
Should we not seek solace from the law simply because the US has made those weird demands?
That will never happen!
We have laws that govern this country.
We equally have processes that we follow when it comes to dealing with issues to do with illegal and violent demonstrations.
That law and those processes should, and must, be respected by everyone, including the US.
The US must be concerned about how they deal with the sanctions issue because that is a stumbling block to our re-engagement efforts.
Consider the following.
According to the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018, Section 4 (c) of ZDERA of 2001 is amended, among other things, to include adding a paragraph on withholding funding for African Development Fund, which reads as follows:
“The US Government shall withhold funding for the African Development Fund equivalent to any funding provided to Zimbabwe through Pillar II for arrears clearance.”
ZDERAA of 2018 sets the following pre-election conditions that include:
“An independent electoral management body is selected, the members of which should be nominated by all political parties represented in the Parliament of Zimbabwe, and permitted to entirely carry out the functions assigned to it in section 239 of Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution in an entirely independent manner.”
Zimbabweans should never let themselves be cowed into making fatal decisions that have the potential to weaken our institutions by an insane US.
We should strengthen those institutions so that we can fend off interference by the West.
Let those with ears listen.