Spare EU from sanctions burden, ED tells UK President Mnangagwa

Zvamaida Murwira in NEW YORK, USA

Britain should carry its baggage of sanctions as it leaves the European Union, and must not continue to saddle the Western bloc with the issue of the illegal embargo imposed on Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa has said.

He said the EU must start on a clean slate and not continue to be preoccupied with the issue of sanctions which was primarily a bilateral issue between Harare and London.

President Mnangagwa said this here while addressing Zanu-PF supporters from Canada and the United States who had come to New York in solidarity with their leader who is attending the 74th session of United Nations General Assembly.

He said he would, together with the African Union and Sadc, make pronouncements on the need to lift illegal sanctions during the ongoing UN General Assembly where leaders across the world are meeting to discuss global issues.

“And you are aware that the European Union has relaxed sanctions and we are persuading the EU that Britain must leave with its baggage of sanctions and leave the EU clean, without sanctions which it was persuaded to carry,” said President Mnangagwa. “I am seeing a British minister here and I am going to tell him what I am telling you.

“We had our Sadc conference in Tanzania last month where Sadc for the first time made a bold resolution against sanctions, unanimously. We discussed this issue quietly and we felt that as Heads of State we need to come together and as a region make a bold statement to condemn the sanctions imposed on us because there is no justification.

“I am sure you are aware these sanctions were rejected by the United Nations and were imposed outside the framework of the UN. So, Sadc will speak about that, the same with the AU (chair) Egypt which must make a statement and our Sadc chairman (Tanzanian President John) Magufuli.

“We are very happy, we have support from our region and of course we will pronounce for ourselves on that.”

On rejoining the Commonwealth, President Mnangagwa said he was set to meet the body’s secretary- general, Mrs Patricia Scotland, on the sidelines of the summit to impress her on the need for Zimbabwe to rejoin.

“The issue of the Commonwealth, as you will remember we were not expelled from the Commonwealth, no,” he said. “We did withdraw from the Commonwealth. So, readmission in Commonwealth is on the basis that we had withdrawn and we feel that the issue that prompted us to withdraw is now behind us, which is that of the land reform, which is now complete and behind us, and I will be seeing (Commonwealth Secretary– General) Madam (Patricia) Scotland to discuss this issue.”

Responding to concerns raised by people in the Diaspora, President Mnangagwa said they were considering to create a party province for them and ultimately a parliamentary seat.

“Our people in the Diaspora not only yourself in America and Canada, but also in other parts of the world have pleaded that they want to have an eleventh province, called the Diaspora province,” he said. “This was debated in our Politburo, we now have a small committee which is working on how the eleventh province of the people in the Diaspora can be structured, which may, underline ‘may’, result in having Diaspora representation in Parliament.

“We have a committee working on how that can be crafted, but at least we recognise the role of our people in the Diaspora.”

The Zanu-PF members donated various medical accessories for use in national health centres such as Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

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