By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says his government will not sit idle and blame sanctions for its failure to reverse nearly two decades of economic ruin which he pledged to remedy through both engagement and local solutions.
He was speaking to Chinese media on his arrival to Beijing, China where he is set to join other leaders for the 7th China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit which kicks off this Monday.
“If we bury our heads in the sand and say there are sanctions, we will always remain behind,” Mnangagwa said.
Recently, the US government amended the 2001 Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act which places a Zimbabwe trade embargo on American companies and those with business links with Washington.
During his rule, former President Robert Mugabe was often scorned for reducing all the country’s economic troubles to the continued existence of sanctions.
Mugabe used nearly all international forums and even speeches during burials of national heroes at home to bash the west for keeping its sanctions on his government.
However, in his interview with Chinese media, Mnangagwa pledged diplomacy as opposed to confronting countries which have maintained sanctions on his country.
“To those who have put sanctions on us, we are extending our hand of friendship, we are saying let us re-engage, engage with those who have not engaged with us before and re-engage with those who have disengaged with us and say what are the difficulties making us not work together, let us dialogue around those issues.
“But beyond that, as Zimbabweans, we are saying what potential, what resources do we have so that we exploit them to grow our economy rather than say oh let us cry for those who have imposed sanctions on us to remove them.
“They have their own reasons. So, we are not going to sleep because some people have imposed sanctions on us.
“So we must ourselves do what we can without forgetting to appeal to those who yesterday were against us and ask them whether there are any reasons anymore against us.”
Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe’s economic woes were better reversed through admitting some of the Zimbabwean government’s policies constrained economic growth.
He cited the now heavily amended indigenisation law he said constrained the flow of capital in the economy.