Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
The United States of America has extended its illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe by another year, a move described by Africa as “senseless and meaningless.” In extending the heinous embargoes, Washington made outrageous claims that President Mugabe was a threat to US foreign policy. In a notice titled “Continuation of the national emergency with respect to Zimbabwe” published by the White House on March 03, US president Barrack Obama, claimed that the actions of the Government of Zimbabwe “contributed to deliberate breakdown of political and economic instability in the southern African region’’.
“The actions and policies of these persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States,” said Mr Obama.
“For this reason, the national emergency declared on March 6, 2003, and the measures adopted on that date, on November 22, 2005, and on July 25, 2008, to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond March 6, 2015.
“Therefore in accordance with section 202 (d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing for one year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288.”
However, Africa did not take the move lightly, which is an indictment on the whole continent given that President Mugabe is the incumbent African Union chairman.
Over and above that, the revolutionary leader is also the sadc chairman.
Dean of African Diplomats Mawampanga Mwanananga, told The Herald that Africa should not dignify retrogressive moves by reading much in such statements from Washington.
“The reality is that those statements do not make sense,” he said.
“It is their problem and do not read much into them. I call them meaningless and senseless.”
Ambassador Mwanananga said the Americans had pushed themselves into a corner by imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe and they were now finding it difficult to rectify that.
He said there was a clique of former Rhodies that continued to lobby the US Congress to continue the sanctions regime on Zimbabwe.
Cuban Ambassador to Zimbabwe Elio Savon Oliva, rebuked the US hard line stance on Zimbabwe saying the world over sanctions had proven to be a wrong tool of resolving differences.
He challenged the US government to explain why it considered President Mugabe and Zimbabwe threats to US foreign policy and the world at large.
“Why is he (President Mugabe) a threat? I will rather agree with 54 African countries that elected President Mugabe as African Union chairman. If he is a threat, he could not have been elected to lead the continent.
“I had received so many messages about President Mugabe made by African leaders and I would rather believe them than statements made by people far away afield from Africa.”
Zimbabwe’s former Ambassador to China Christopher Mutsvangwa, said only those who deemed themselves to be masters of the universe could resort to pursuit of petty grudges.
“The irrational behaviour of the US to renew sanctions and label Zimbabwe as a foreign policy threat, was a classic case of errant behaviour by a giant,” he said.
“How a country with only 12 million people can threaten a world superpower is a mental aberration of first order.
“One billion Africans are happy with President Mugabe as their chairman, so are 250 million citizens of sadc who adore him as their leader. The American administration claims to represent 300 million people.
“Are they more worth than majority of Africans?
“With Cuban policy being revised, why this impetulance with Zimbabwe?” he queried.
Ambassador Mutsvangwa, who is also the Minister for the Welfare of War Veterans, said he was keen to normalise relations with all progressive nations in the world.
In this regard, engagement efforts are at various stages with different blocs both in Europe and Asia.
“In any case, Zimbabwe is too busy improving and mending relations with all other nations within our European and Asian neighbourhood,” he said.
An African diplomat accredited to Zimbabwe who refused to be named, said the US government was displaying arrogance of legendary proportions.
He said following free and fair elections won by President Mugabe in 2013, there was no basis for the US to continue the sanctions regime.
“This is arrogance of the highest order,” he said.
“There is no justification whatsoever for the US to extend these sanctions and in any case, they are not hurting President Mugabe but ordinary Zimbabweans.
“I urge Washington to reconsider its position for the development of ordinary Zimbabweans.”
US imposed the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2003 after Britain internationalised its bilateral dispute with Harare over land.
Since then, the US has been renewing the sanctions every year.