ZIMBABWE has filed a complaint with the United Nations Secretary General after the US Government barred CIO boss Happyton Bonyongwe from attending the UN General Assembly in New York.
Bonyongwe was supposed to be part of President Robert Mugabe’s delegation to the UN’s 65th Ordinary Session but was refused a visa by the US embassy in Harare along with ZBC Chief Correspondent, Reuben Barwe.
Both are on the list of individuals barred from travelling to the US under sanctions imposed by President George Bush in 2002.
The Zimbabwe government argued that the UN Headquarters was international territory to which no country or individual should barred unless they were under UN sanctions.
“The Zimbabwe government has reached the UN Secretary-General’s Office for a formal complaint in what amounts to a breach by the United States government of its status, conditions and commitment for hosting the United Nations,” a senior government official was quoted as saying in the Herald newspaper.
Bonyongwe was also barred from travelling to the US for UN meetings last year.
Meanwhile, the US has invited the Zimbabwe government for talks on the sanctions.
Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma will lead the Zimbabwe delegation while the US will be represented by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnny Carson.
The talks are expected to begin next Wednesday.
The Zimbabwe government is pushing for the removal of the sanctions which it blames for the country’s economic problems.
However the US and the European Union are demanding more reforms and full implementation of the Global Political Agreement before they can lift the sanctions.