President takes US Congressmen to task over sanctions

President Mugabe welcomes US Congressman Adam Schiff, while Senator Christopher Coons looks on at State House in Harare yesterday

President Mugabe welcomes US Congressman Adam Schiff, while Senator Christopher Coons looks on at State House in Harare yesterday

Felex Share Senior Reporter
President Mugabe yesterday met a delegation of United States Congressmen and categorically stated to them that Zimbabwe upholds the rule of law, contrary to propaganda peddled by Western media and anti-Government organisations.

He also took the Congressmen to task on the US’ reasons for maintaining unjustified sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The delegation of four senators and one member of the House of Representative was led by Mr Jeffrey Flake.

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In his opening remarks before a closed-door meeting with the delegation, President Mugabe described the visit as rare, chronicling how relations between Zimbabwe and the US turned sour during Mr George W. Bush’s tenure as president.

“A surprise visit isn’t? We normally don’t have visits from the US Congress or Senate, but we have individuals who have come,” he said.

“This is quite rare. It used to happen those good days when our relations were good up to the time of President Bush. Everything went sour during Bush’s time not because we had quarrelled with America, but because they supported (Tony) Blair in efforts to reverse the land reform programme.

“We had followed all the steps to settle our people but when the Labour party took over, they wanted to reverse it completely and we said no, Zimbabwe was a free country. We had Bush imposing sanctions and we were surprised. We know they wanted to please Blair and sanctions have remained on. Mr Bush decided to impose sanctions on us and the Senate and Congress said yes, we deserve sanctions.”

Relations between Harare and Washington turned sour a decade ago after the US government imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in retaliation to a bilateral tiff between Zimbabwe and Britain over the land issue.

The US came up with a law, the Zimbabwe Transition to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act to back the illegal sanctions that were not endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.

A source that attended the meeting said the Congressmen had tried to raise issues that were “always raised by the opposition political parties and non-governmental organisations”.

“They raised issues to do with democracy, human rights—raising the Itai Dzamara issue, police clearance of political parties (to hold rallies) and how they can assist on drought and wildlife matters,” said the source.

“President Mugabe told them that the State is doing everything in its power to establish Dzamara’s whereabouts and he stated that Zimbabwe respected the rule of law. He said those who commit offences are arrested and tried before courts of law. On sanctions, the President said he did not understand what offence Zimbabwe had committed to deserve the embargo.”

The visit came at a time when the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations chairman, Mr Bob Corker three weeks ago wrote a letter to the US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew pushing for the blockage of any new lending to Zimbabwe by multilateral financial institutions until the country met Washington’s preferred conditions.

The conditions included “restoration of the rule of law, electoral reforms, the reversal of land reform and security sector reform”.

Government has stated that Mr Corker was out of sync with reality and needed to be lectured on issues affecting Zimbabwe.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Flake said they were in Zimbabwe only for issues to do with wildlife preservation.

“The focus mostly is on wildlife preservation and to combat trafficking and poaching,” he said.

“We have visited Mozambique and we have been here in Zimbabwe for the last two days and met with Environment Minister and outside organisations. We were able to meet with the President at his invitation and we were pleased with the meeting.

“Obviously there are issues we disagree on and we will continue to, there are also areas we work together.”

Asked about Mr Corker’s letter and sanctions, Mr Flake responded: “That really wasn’t topic of discussion. I will leave private discussions private. We would rather stick to the issues we came here for.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi who attended the meeting together with Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko said the meeting was a “wide ranging discussion and an exchange of views.”

“The Senators were naturally inquisitive and President Mugabe answered their questions very much to their satisfaction and I am sure when they go back they will be engaging their colleagues based on their experience here, in particular the exchanges they have had with President,” he said.

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  • Mister Arcadia PhD.

    Ngwena was not in the meeting nhai?

    • Collin Mackenzie

      And so ?

      • Mister Arcadia PhD.

        What do you mean and so?? He is a top man.

  • Zimba 1

    Why do we always have to ‘bend’ our ways for these idiots? The US clearly doesn’t want normal relations with us, why then do we bother to try and justfy our actions to them.

    Am suprised that the president had the time to entertain these insincere clowns: the curse of an African, to think that the people from America have solutions to our problems!

    • yowe

      We are the major cause if our own problems until wr accept that we are doomed

    • Isac Hunt

      we need to bend to ”these idiots” because we have no money, and also the look east policy did not work and also because have you ever heard of the AU helping a fellow african ?

      • Kuta Kinte

        When any one of us starts bending because we have no money then that is what we refer to as betrayal, which we have a history of not taking lightly. People like Isac Hunt are those wailing souls who give their wives to some rich guys because they do not have money. We can bend on any other issues and not on our land and our sovereignty.

        • Isac Hunt

          oh please, we must be one of the most corrupt countries in the world, just stop at any road block, or try and pass a driving test at VID without ”bending”
          Who owns the land?? not the people that’s for sure. and we sold our sovereignty to the chinese long ago.

          • Collin Mackenzie

            Isac Hunt
            You the one that bends over a corrupt because you choose to pay.

            Why have ever not reported these guys at the VID is it because you bent over and paid .

          • Isac Hunt

            Report them to who exactly Colin ? The police ? The head of VID ? …. Haha good one.

        • Kufamazuva

          My brother a nation has to be careful on the enemies you choose as the great general Alexander said. Choosing enemies recklessly can lead to destruction or penury. Tactics not emotions. If you are a careless father even your children will turn against you

    • ian

      So you think that the president is foolish? Its funny that you are talking this way yet before this day will come to an end, you will have used currency from America? There are dozens of currencies out there that you could have opted for as your pprimary currency, yet you settled for the American currency? Who is forcing you not to have your own currency-most other countries do have their own curencies, even those countries poorer than Zimbabwe!!. Further, why is your country accepting food assistance from the American Agency, USAID? Who has been instrumental in your country’s fight against HIV and AIDS resulting in reduction in prevalence rate of the disease to where it is now? Who was one of the key funders of the fight against Ebola? Had the fight not succeded chances are the disease could have reached your country by now, wiping out thousands including your stupid self in the process!! 30 years after independence what solution have you personally brought about to help people in this country? What personal wealth, genuine wealth and not that stolen from the people of this country have you created? You should think before putting pen to paper, you numbskull. Waguta kuchengetwa haikona!

      • Zimba 1

        Sorry, Ian, if i have offended you. FYI, 1. I do not live in Zimbabwe, 2.Yes the president has acted ###in this instance, 3.Funding either the fight against ebola or humanitarian activities does, and should not, make one infallible, 4. I have and still am playing my part by remiting my $ to Zim. I have been efficient in casting my vote at every election ever since I turned 18, and am proud to say that I have never voted for the ruling party not that I hate them, but just because I do not subscribe to their way of doing things, and 5. You need to work on your inferiority complex: you think if people are from America, they are supposed to be worshipped?

        It is ###like you who are ruining our country and you have made the mistake of thinking that am ZANU.

        Have you ever wondered why Mugabe has remained popular and in power though ordinary peple are suffering? Have you ever wondered why the police, the army are always ready to crash any demonstrations against Mugabe even if they are not paid enough, and most of them are really doing it hard ro the extent that they can’t even send their kids to school? Have you ever wondered why MDC lost popularity post 2002? I know you will actually be thinking that the 2008 protest vote that was won by the MDC means they were popular?

        Digest this and when you are done we engage in meaningful discourse.

        • Mangwende we Chinhoyi

          These appear like some cognitive reverberations. Zimba 1 appears like he wants one to use his brains effectively before he can dialogue with anyone. So please think first before you respond ian.

    • Observer gonzo

      Americans/West have no solutions to our problem – correct, but reality has proved we are far better off being their friends than with any other country (China). Just a bit of reality check:
      1. Whose currency are we using? And they are allowing us to do so even without completing the formalities of adopting it! We had and still have a choice to use other currencies, but which currency will make you sleep better?
      2. Even tho aid has reduced with strained relations, they are still our biggest donors and were are looking up to them for food. Am 100% sure food was definitely among the “wide range’ of issues discussed. CHINA, NO AID
      3. When relations were better, only the West deliberately gave us quotas for agric produce into their countries to promote our industry. With China forget!
      4. We simply prefer to do business with West because we believe in their systems. Chinese/Indians have promised big things, but the cost to us hidden in fine print was always heavy. (Essar, Diamonds). Further proof we prefer them…offer same job and benefits in either an Indigenous, Chinese and Western owned company, you & the majority of us which one will we choose?
      If Mugabe was in constructive dialogue i commend him.

    • sherman

      Zimba…….. You may miss the point, These people could have ideas on improving conditions here in Zimbabwe in medicine, business, education, development, and financial…… Do you forget there is 90 percent unemployment or, does the Zimbabwe don’t care…….. America still has success, in lieu of many problems there, on the world stage. We have cushy jobs for a few, and unemployment for masses……. we can all learn something. It is 30 years and we are still struggling in our Economy……

    • Dube

      U are a fool, Zimbabwe cannot survive in isolation. Zimbabwe is as poor as it is now because of Mugabe’s arongence. Zimbabwe needs US more than they need Zimbabwe. Munongo pembedza Mugabe zvisina basa

  • IMF

    How can ZANU Pf cry for international bodies to lend it money when we are owing 10 billion and nothing to show for it expect government officials driving top of the range cars and building 50 bedroom houses. Give us a break

  • haiwawo

    In other words don’t go out of topic; no matter what Mumbengegwi wants to persuade us to believe.

    If you invite people to talk about a particular issue which the particular delegation is mandated to discuss, stick to that. The government knows who to take up their particular grievance on sanctions with – US Treasury, Congress and Senate. All this ranting over issues that are extraneous to the issue is waste of time especially if responding to these complaints is not within the purview of the delegation.

    I think given how our spokespersons have behaved in the past, I would believe the members of the delegation first especially given that they did not initiate the contact; something the government spokesperson has not disputed. It is no surprise that the issues raised are out of topic for this particular context because many in the government have no idea of audience, purpose, form and tone and nothing comes out of this ranting.

  • Judas Iscariot

    Could the herald publish Corker’s letter in full, so we can see his demands for ourselves?His demands are individual demands, and not of the US gov’t.I have never heard any American gov’t official,calling for land redistribution reversal. They have always criticized,the chaotic manner in which the land redistribution was done. Bigwigs who were saying it’s wrong for white farmers to have multiple farms, yet they were giving themselves multiple farms.The situation prevailing in the country has proved the US to be right,we had people,settling themselves on wetlands,grabbing large farms with no skills and no resources to have the job done.The Americans have always demanded our regime to respect the rule of law,respect human rights,stop the use of violence to help keep the regime in power. Stop corruption.Reform the electoral rules,so we won’t have ZANU PF, setting election rules, for elections they will be a participant in,they will always make sure the reforms, are in their favor.l’m glad the president has changed his tone of voice,and not rushing to talk about being a sovereign nation. Now let’s see the gov’t walking the talk. Glad the courts have also started forcing the regime to uphold the rule of law.

  • Judas Iscariot

    Americans are good people,judging by the issues, that they raised. Issues like democracy,human rights, Itai Dzamara disappearance, issue of police clearance,for people to stage peaceful demonstrations, and opposition parties to hold rallies.There’re all good things. They’re even asking how they can assist with draught relief. I haven’t heard any of our friends from the east, offering to help us with draught relief. God bless America.


      Have you ever heard of the saying ” He who pays has the say”? If you haven’t Americans knows that.

  • Zimba 1

    This heading is misleading.

  • munhu mutapa

    Don’t be fooled by the visit it was just stock take to see if the sanctions were really biting.It happens every time when a US president is about to leave office he does send his agents on works progress report so he will be updated just in case the next coming government has questions they need to know concerning about the Zimbabwe issue.

  • Isac Hunt

    takes them to task …… haha

  • Rawboy

    Still trying to get my head around the fact that Zimbabwe uses the US dollar as it’s currency yet it is under sanctions from the US!

  • Uprop Vocia

    Lets not buy other people’s wars and focus on what is in our plate. The American government has been good to Zimbabwe, full stop. How they relate with every other corner of the world ain’t any of our business. We have our own man made bomb here…they are keen to help us deal with it and we should be appreciative

  • kabija

    Why would the president be surprised by the visit if he invited them in the first place? Isn”t this hypocrisy? After all we have the American embassy in Harare and they are very much involved in Zimbabwean issues, the PMI and USAID for starters!

  • Zimba 1

    Fred, the US$ is global currency, and, as such, it’s not fair to ask such a question.

    The real issue we should be asking ourselves is, why is the US so much interested in a tiny country like Zimbabwe. There are some countries that have little or no regard for human right, and yet they enjoy cordial relations with the US. Take for instance, Saudi Arabia, where people are even allowed to vote; women are not allowed to drive. Yet the pius US does has never imposed sanctions on them, let alone voice their concern.

    So, Fred, you may love Uncle Sam, but the truth is Uncle Sam does not care about you. Uncle Sam wants to plunder, Uncle Sam is a thief, Uncle Sam lier. Have you seen the squalour that the blacks in America call home? Surely, is not charity supposed to begin at home?

    • Observer gonzo

      Don’t overrate US interest in Zimbabwe. If they had that much interest, Mugabe would be long gone, ask Saddam’s ghost. No one on USA and Britian is losing sleep over us, just feeling pity for us, that’s all otherwise no Zim simply means less of their taxpayer money to us for aid e.t.c. Even if they took over all “our vast” (largely unexplored) resources, their economy will not feel anything – trust me.

  • Mangwende we Chinhoyi

    Zimba 1 wants you to think deeply and you can easily find the answer, which is there in his comment. Fred Muchena, I warn you to digest before engaging meaningfully with Zimba 1. Sorry.

    • Fred Muchena

      No need to be sorry. my point is lets not be hypocrites. If we say no engagement let it be so. Lets not use their currency.

  • Mbla

    Prophet Isaya 39 Nhai mambo Hezekia vaenzi ava vakabvepi uye vakavonei.Vanobva kuna Bharadhani hatishamwaridzani navo.Uye havasi vokusekerera.A snake is always a snake and will never be fish.No No No No No. Shamwari tinadzo ivo havasi shamwari dzedu. A friend who try to benefit at our expense is not a friend.Why did the president waste time talking to these guys hatinei navo America have no solutions to our problems.

  • Muturikwa we Gweru.

    I am very glad that Zimbabwe is gifted by having such big minds like Sifiso Xolile.

  • Mangwende we Chinhoyi

    You sound like George Bush. We do not mind if they just turn away from us without interference by blocking all lines of credit for Zimbabwe and I know this might be Greek to you George. If they have nothing against us, why do they to worry about our wild life. Four responsible people to come and see our Cecil offspring or our black rhino? Remember America was built through slavery and just see one film on slavery then we can talk of human rights. The physical part of slavery vanished yes and we have remained with the mental one which is engulfing you George. Sorry.

    • Gary WekuZviyambe

      Let me tell you a little fact:
      China hates the US, probably more than Zimbabwe does.
      China loans the US trillions of dollars every year
      This must tell you that at times one has to keep their silly temper in check for the good of their country

  • aiiwbef

    Bull cr*p

  • DK

    The way some black Africans stampede to catch the attention of Uncle Sam surprises me, yet th Uncle Sams do not even notice and will never want to.

    • Zimba 1

      You are right these are some of the effects of colonization of the mind. We (Black Africans) have been trained to think that anything foreign is superior and thus anything local is inferior. That’s the curse of Africans: thinking that modernity is synonymous to the West, and backwardness to Africa.

  • Observer gonzo

    The begging bowl extended during the meeting was the main agenda next to the disclosed wildlife story. Am sure food aid was among the “wide range” of issues discussed.

  • MrK001

    The problem is that Tony Blair is just a cypher. After invading Iraq, he became the Chairman of the International Council of JPMorgan Chase, the Rockefeller family’s bank. Trevor Manuel after leaving government took up a job at the Rothschild Group.

    There are sanctions against Zimbabwe because the Rothschilds own De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond miner, which is looking to control the Chiadzwa and Marange diamond fields, which could produce 20% of the world’s diamond production every year. They could crash the Israeli economy, whose biggest single export is finished diamonds from South Africa and Botswana, from De Beers.

    Read more here: “With the provision of funding for the creation of De Beers in 1887,
    Rothschild also turned to investment in the mining of precious stones,
    in Africa and India.”
    And Cecil Rhodes became the Founding Chairman of De Beers in 1888

    • Gary WekuZviyambe

      You are way behind on facts. Chiadzwa is mainly alluvial diamonds, which have been exhausted. We are trying to hard to make Zimbabwe look like the richest country on earth. It is not. These days brains count more than minerals. Facebook does not own any land and yet they have a networth much larger than the Zimbabwean budget for the next 10 years!

  • Sifiso Xolile Ndlovu Zgwanyanw

    I find it strange how some cozy up to the devil and call him good
    because they just can’t stand the nagging little demon in a little
    corner of the world?

    A hostile party with the power to influence how everyone in the camp can relate to you and with the means to cut off your access to what everyone has access to, the ability to force everyone in the camp to be hostile towards you and the means to repeatedly promote and publicize a particular political point of view against you is hardly a scenario where one is trying to force friendship on a girl who is not interested in getting a little nasty in the hay. It is cute, how you see the world, but reality is far from it. By the way, I am not a fan of zpf but I am also not a simpleton who thinks that everyone against zpf is good people.

    One is a tiny little demon and the other is the devil himself.

    • Gary WekuZviyambe

      Let me tell you a little fact:

      China hates the US, probably more than Zimbabwe does.

      China loans the US trillions of dollars every year!

      This must tell you that at times one has to keep their silly temper in check for the good of their country

      • Sifiso Xolile Ndlovu Zgwanyanw

        China is a superpower, Zimbabwe is not. Ask Google and Facebook about hostile treatment from China, there are certain values that China is not willing to compromise regardless of US pressure, threats and bad press. The way these 2 giants relates is obviously different to the way Zimbabwe and USA relates, Zimbabwe is not able to cope against hostile treatment from a superpower. The last I checked, Zimbabwe was not a global giant in business therefore your comparison does not apply.

        • Gary WekuZviyambe

          Then why does our President provoke superpowers when he knows fully well that we cannot stand against them?

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    It is very clear that you have not read ZIDERA. It does not call for the reversal of the land reform at all. Read it yourself, instead of relying on The Herald’s intepretation

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    You are truly ignorant of what ZIDERA stands for. Even if what you say were true (which it is not), why are we not buying the same drugs and equipment from China, Russia and South Africa?

  • Collin Mackenzie

    Who needs those idots? and how long have we lived without them ?

    They must shut up

  • Uprop Vocia

    External forces did not come into play without our government soliciting for them. The land reform was a continuation of the struggle and so warfare tactics have to be employed…not justice. It was the responsibility of the government to have considered the U.S and Western countries’ retaliation especially considering that the land question was being watched by all countries which are yet to address the issue. The land question could have triggered a huge international movement, hurting to American and British interests hence their heavy hand towards Zim. The amount of suffering it causes to Zim, up to date, is evident but whom else was able to have played the role of a statesmen to avoid such unnecessary suffering except the Head of State? All these countries which remain tight lipped on the land question know they have to act but at least have the sense to act with tact. TACT! Meanwhile, we concern ourselves with global issues at a macro level at the expense of local issues…who remembers what Zim benefited from the African Union chair in the last tenure? We fought in the DRC, only to lack tact in realizing economic gain from it as a country…TACT!!!