President speaks on Russia, Ukraine conflict President Mnangagwa takes to the dance floor during a meeting with small to medium scale miners in Gweru yesterday.

Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe remains an independent and sovereign nation and will resist Western pressure to take sides in international conflicts, preferring instead to encourage their solution through dialogue.

Addressing a Presidential interface meeting with small to medium scale miners in Gweru yesterday, the President said there were machinations by the United States to try and persuade Harare to pick a side in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

He said Russia and Zimbabwe were both victims of American sanctions and if Harare was to pick a side, it would speak with a fellow victim.

“The American President approached me and said look at what has happened, Russia has invaded Ukraine so you must support so and so, don’t talk to Russia. Then I said where there is a conflict, we must instead promote dialogue, that’s number one. I also said my dear brother Mr (Joe) Biden, America has sanctions on Russia, America has sanctions on Zimbabwe, the two — Zimbabwe and Russia — are victims of American sanctions so shall victims of the same sanctions not speak together?,” said President Mnangagwa to applause from the crowd.

He said Zimbabwe under the Second Republic was on an engagement drive without seeking to be an enemy to anyone.

“We have to engage and re-engage and what do we mean? We want to engage with any country and any international organisation. Those who disengaged from us for whatever reason, let us re-engage. But what is important is we shall remain independent. We can’t then say country X is an enemy to that country so it becomes our enemy also, no,” said the President.

He said Zimbabwe was also applying to be admitted into the G20 countries as it seeks to be part of the global village.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa has implored Zimbabweans to campaign and vote peacefully during the harmonised elections slated for 23 August 2023.

He said the country was one of the most peaceful nations in Africa.

The President said the people should go and vote resoundingly for the ruling Zanu-PF party as Zimbabwe was on an economic recovery path thanks to the Second Republic’s developmental and all engaging economic policies.

“Let us all go out in our numbers and vote resoundingly for the ruling Zanu-PF party. There are some who wish us a violent election. We are, however, one of the most peaceful countries on the continent. We are a peaceful country. We are united and democratic,” he said.

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