GOVERNMENT has castigated United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Bruce Wharton for attempting to influence policy direction in Zimbabwe by saying his country will only normalise relations if the Zanu-PF Government implements policies favourable to the US.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday said Mr Wharton’s views were as abnormal as the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by his country.
He said Government would implement policies as espoused by the Zanu-PF manifesto that was overwhelmingly endorsed by voters on July 31.
“This thing is totally unacceptable,” said Prof Moyo. “The Government was not elected by Americans, it was elected by people of Zimbabwe on the basis of a very clear, transparent manifesto.
“This Government has an obligation to implement that manifesto as a promise to the Zimbabwean electorate, not to Americans or ambassador Wharton or any foreigner and this position of saying we are watching your policies is exactly what Zimbabweans fought against.
“It is exactly the reason we have fallen gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives to free our country and give it its sovereignty and it is impossible for us to countenance betrayal of that sovereignty. This Government is the last to betray the sacrifices of our gallant sons and daughters and through that the sovereignty that they won, by saying we shall formulate and implement policies with America in mind in order to please the American government so that it will not impose sanctions or it will lift sanctions, that does not make sense.”
Mr Wharton told journalists in Mutare on Thursday that his country would decide whether or not to engage Zimbabwe based on how the new Zanu-PF Government would implement its policies.
But Prof Moyo said the fact that Mr Wharton said his country was ready to normalise relations with Zimbabwean meant that they recognised that the relations were abnormal.
“Everyone knows that the abnormal future of the relations between the two countries is entirely because of the illegal sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe by the American government through Zidera, which sanctions have devastated the livelihoods of ordinary people,” he said.
Prof Moyo said the same sanctions had affected the country’s ecology as seen at Hwange National Park where nearly 90 elephants were poisoned by poachers after the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority’s monitoring systems were compromised.
“The only way to normalise the relations between Zimbabwe and America is to remove the abnormality of sanctions,” said Prof Moyo.
“This thing the American ambassador told the journalists, which he has been repeating for much too long, to the effect that the American government will keep the sanctions and therefore maintain abnormal relations while they watch the policies of the Government of Zimbabwe and will lift them depending on what those polices are and how they are implemented is not the basis of international relations and that is not the basis of normal relations.
“That is as abnormal as the sanctions. Our Government is committed, willing and ready to engage or re-engage any other foreign government on the basis of mutual respect of each other’s sovereignty in terms of international law and not on the basis of each other’s domestic policies.”
Prof Moyo said the time had come for ambassador Wharton to “stop his abnormal message and join all progressive members of the internal community in calling on his government to remove the illegal and abnormal sanctions they imposed against us”.
“If they do that, we will have normal relations which will improve the livelihoods of the peoples in the two countries,” he said.
Turning to the closure of the pirate television station 1st TV this week, Prof Moyo said the station was a voice of sanctions and had to shut because of the abnormal message it sought to portray.
“The first voice to come up as a pirate TV station has become the first to shut up,” he said. “This was a money making venture and it continues to be such.
“They don’t have a normal voice with any benefits to Zimbabweans and Zimbabweans are prepared for these things and that is why it did not have listeners. It has had no taker. It is natural that if you have an abnormal message you will not have any viewers and listeners and it becomes necessary to close, but the curious fact is that they are saying they are now going to be fund-raising, so this was clearly a fundraising initiative.”
Prof Moyo said the reason Zanu-PF won resoundingly with an emphatic two thirds majority in Parliament even with the pirate broadcasting stations was because Zimbabweans were “tired of the American project that has been polarising and dividing us”.
“They now want to move on to attend to their lives, put bread and butter on their tables for their families, to realise their their aspirations, hope,” he said. “They are now united behind the Zanu-PF Government and joining team Zanu-PF for the good of the country, for the good of every Zimbabwean, every family, every community, all of us.”
Prof Moyo said Zimbabweans have had 14 years of bickering sponsored by the likes of Mr Wharton and the British.
He said the fact that 1st TV was founded just before the July 31 by the likes of Andrew Chadwick, a British who once worked for the MDC-T, showed that it was British project.
“So, it is now clear that these Americans and British sponsored projects to divide and polarise Zimbabweans are all coming to grief,” said Prof Moyo. “They are all folding up because we can’t continue doing the same thing that divides us for 14 years and expect good results.
“And it is for this reason that everyone can bet their last dollar that these projects will no longer find any favour with any Zimbabweans regardless of their political affiliation…they are now united against sponsored projects whose main purposes is to divide them, hence the collapse of these projects,” he said.