- New brooms bring zero cheer
- US president co-sponsored ZDERA
- ED, ZANU PF on charm offensive
By Daniel Kachere
Opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume has said the change of guard in the United States was unlikely to bring any cheer for President Mnangagwa’s regime as the new administration would probably focus more on enforcing the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) than the Trump administration did.
This comes as the MDC Alliance has said it hopes the Biden administration will hold the “fascist Mnangagwa regime” to account.
“I don’t believe that the change in the Presidency of the United States will make much difference. The fact remains that there is strong bipartisan support for ZDERA in the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa, which advises the President,” Ngarivhume told Nhau.
“Indeed, if the Biden administration begins to pay more attention to Africa, they could put more pressure on the Mnangagwa Government than Trump. The US is very keen to see a democratic, prosperous and stable Zimbabwe.”
He said while Trump showed no interest in Africa, the wheels of the State bureaucracy continued to function in spite of him.
“We, who are fighting for democracy and justice in Zimbabwe, certainly welcome the level-headed Biden administration, especially if they put more pressure on our ‘New Dispensation’. Our guess, though, is that it will make little difference to ZANU PF dragging the country down through corruption, and violence against its citizens,” Ngarivhume said.
MDC Alliance Secretary for International Relations Gladys Hlatshwayo told Nhau that her party looks forward to working with the Biden administration in advancing democratic principles and fighting for the respect of the rule of law.
“We congratulate President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris following their electoral victory and on the occasion of their inauguration as President and Vice President of the United States of America respectively.
“We look forward to working with the Biden Administration in the same way we are working with the rest of the world, especially around advancing democratic ideals and human rights.”
Hlatshwayo said she has high hopes that the Biden administration will hold the “fascist Mnangagwa regime” to account.
“We have no doubt that the new administration will hold to account despotic leaders across the globe including the fascist Mnangagwa regime that is well known for targeting opponents, subverting the will of the people through capturing State institutions, not respecting the Supreme law of the land and international norms,” she said.
Secessionist opposition political party Mthwakazi Republic party spokesperson Mbonisi Gumbo said the Biden administration mirrors that of Barack Obama with regards to foreign policy, thus Zimbabwe had nothing to celebrate.
“I think the status quo will continue and the position taken by Obama while he was president will be the same position Biden will take. The Democrats’ position on foreign policy, including the continuation of sanctions against ZANU PF and the demand for rule of law will continue,” said Gumbo.
“Unfortunately, we have nothing to celebrate and we continue to expect the international community and America in particular to condemn corrupt leaders and human rights abusers be called to order.”
Mnangagwa and his party seem hopeful that the Biden administration could present an opportunity for a fresh start or policy shift.
Mnangagwa was one of the first African Heads of State to congratulate Biden in November last year.
“On behalf of all Zimbabweans, a huge congratulations to President-elect @JoeBiden on his election victory. Zimbabwe wishes you every success in leading the American people. I look forward to working with you to increase co-operation between our two nations,” he said.
Mnangagwa’s political outfit, the ruling ZANU PF also recently issued a statement.
The party’s Secretary for Information and Publicity Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo said Zimbabwe was keen to work with incoming President Biden in pursuit of matters of mutual interest for the people from both countries.
“The revolutionary Party, ZANU PF, wishes the American people and its President-elect Joe Biden success on his forthcoming term of office,” read the statement.
“Given our existing cordial relations with the USA, we look forward to the new USA administration to remove the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.”
However, what both Mnangagwa and his party seem to forget is that in 2001 Biden co-sponsored ZDERA while he was a US senator. ZDERA imposed sanctions in the form of travel bans on individuals and targeted entities.
When he became Vice President for eight years – there was no change of policy from Washington.
And on January 20, Biden took over the reins of the world’s richest nation after months of uncertainty as Donald Trump refused concede defeat.
Trump failed to win a second term but decided not to quietly slip into “normal life” after his defeat. He orchestrated an attack on the US Capitol resulting in destruction of property and the death of one police officer and five others.
In January last year Trump’s administration through the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee called for a review of the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Senators Jim Risch, the chairman of the committee, and Chris Coons a member of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting that the US Department of the Treasury add more sanctioned persons to its list of Zimbabwe’s government linked officials.
They cited the continued gross human rights violations against dissenting voices and corruption further stating that the sanctions would not affect the common people in any way.
Two months down the line Trump put the final nail on the coffin by adding more Government linked officials to its sanctions list. Nhau/Indaba