By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has insisted that Zimbabwe will move forward with its development programmes with or without the support of the United States which recently renewed its sanctions against Harare.
Mnangagwa was speaking to journalists after an hour-long meeting at State House with US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols.
U.S. President Donald Trump recently signed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018, also known as ZIDERA.
The act renewed sanctions the U.S. imposed on Zimbabwe starting in 2002, following accusations of human rights abuses and election rigging against then-president Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa is among those targeted by the travel bans and financial restrictions.
“We had positive discussions,” said Mnangagwa after Wednesday’s meeting.
“We are moving forward with our people in peace and tranquility. Nichols is the one who is looking at Zimbabwe and it is necessary to have such discussions with him.
“He is an American Ambassador to Zimbabwe and must have a correct appreciation of the environment in the country.”
Asked about the decision by Washington to renew ZIDERA, Mnangagwa said; “Why did you not ask him (Nichols) about those sanctions?
“We shared our views on the current situation as a country. Only when there is peace and tranquility, can there be development in a country.”
For his part, Ambassador Nichols said: “ZIDERA deals with loans and arrears to international financial institutions, it does not deal with individuals.
“What it calls for are investigation into past human rights abuse, reforms to the judicial system, promotion of rule of law, it calls for economic reforms, land tenure, and I am sure these will be debated vigorously in the next Parliament.”
He added; “From the United States government, we are committed to working to help Zimbabwean people achieve democracy, human rights and prosperity.”
Harare has since condemned renewal of ZIDERA with foreign affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo saying at the weekend that the government has made significant progress in implementing the reforms referred to by Washington.
The Zanu PF government has blamed the sanctions for the country’s economic problems which have lasted nearly two decades.