George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
GOVERNMENT is fed up with the lack of sincerity by Western countries in their dealings with Zimbabwe and will no longer pursue re-engagement with hostile countries until they lift the illegal sanctions which continue bleeding the economy, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has said.
He said Zimbabwe was not happy with the West’s intransigence and lack of objectivity as evidenced by their refusal to endorse the July 31 harmonised elections as credible despite that the rest of the world declared the polls as peaceful, free, fair and credible.
Ahead of the elections, there was a flurry of delegations from Western nations talking re-engagement with the EU going as far as pronouncing that it would be guided by Sadc’s verdict on the elections.
The African Union, Sadc, Comesa, the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries as well as over 40 countries worldwide have since endorsed the elections as free, fair, peaceful, credible and reflective of the will of Zimbabweans.
While the EU has since moved to remove diamond companies from its sanctions list, the US, Britain and its dominions of Australia and Canada — that have traditionally sponsored the MDC-T — are still smarting from the MDC-T’s heavy drubbing and refuse to endorse the harmonised elections.
In an interview with the media after officially opening a Ministry of Foreign Affairs strategic planning workshop at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel, Minister Mumbengegwi said there was no need for more negotiations with the West on sanctions because the embargo was unilaterally imposed in the first place.
Minister Mumbengegwi said it was the West which is supposed to re-engage with Zimbabwe, not vice-versa.
“Any country that does not want to accept the will of the people of Zimbabwe, that’s their own business. I am saying it clearly that there is nothing more to negotiate with them.
“It’s not Zimbabwe which should re-engage the West, but it is the West that should re-engage Zimbabwe. We are not going to engage them anymore because it is them who unilaterally imposed sanctions on us and they should first unilaterally lift them.
“What we are demanding first is the unconditional lifting of sanctions. We will not negotiate with them over sanctions because we never negotiated with them to impose the sanctions in the first place,’’ he said.
The minister said the July 31 elections were one of the best polls to be held anywhere in the world, saying the handling was close to perfection.
Minister Mumbengegwi said it was shocking that some Western countries went on to try to discredit the poll outcome even though they were not part of countries and organisations from around the world that observed them.
“Our elections (July 31) were free, fair, and the most credible you will ever find in the whole world. We came almost close to perfection.
“We never put a foot wrong in the conduct of those elections and it is strange that the West who were never part of the observers afterwards said the elections were not free and fair.
“This shows that the West is not objective when it comes to Zimbabwe, especially when dealing with the country’s biggest political party Zanu-PF.
“How could they say the elections were not free and fair when they did not observe them? Why not go by what observers from Africa and beyond said of the elections-that they were free and fair?’’ he said.
Minister Mumbengegwi said Zimbabwe did not invite Western countries to observe the elections because those countries imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in a futile bid to effect regime change and propel their local puppet political parties into power.
Cde Mumbengegwi said the thunderous win by Zanu-PF and President Mugabe in the last harmonised election was a big statement by Zimbabweans that they do not want regime change in the country.
He said the Zanu-PF Government would continue to strengthen ties with countries that have a friendly disposition towards such as India, China, Russia and Brazil among other emerging economies as part of ongoing efforts to improve the economy and fulfill Zanu-PF’s election promises to Zimbabweans.
Cde Mumbengegwi described President Mugabe as a leader with unparalleled foresight because he was the first world leader to enunciate the Look East policy as part of measures to revive the economy.
The economic power of the world has shifted to the East and even Western nations were now looking that side for economic salvation putting paid to allegations that President Mugabe enunciated the Look East policy as a desperate measure.
Speaking at the same meeting Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe should use its vast mineral resources such as gold, platinum and chrome to bargain for better deals with other countries saying the illegal sanctions could be defeated through use of those resources.
Cde Mutsvangwa said the West imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in a bid to remove the country from the economic nexus of the world to stifle growth and perpetuate rampant exploitation of the country’s resources by Western companies at the behest of their mother Governments.
The Foreign Affairs ministry strategic planning workshop is expected to map specific targets and objectives over the next five years in line with Zimbabwe’s national strategic interests economically.