Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe is ready to work with the incoming Republican administration in the United States following Mr Donald Trump’s crushing victory over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in presidential elections held on Tuesday.Mr Trump, who will be sworn in on January 20 next year, becomes the 45th US president.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Chris Mushohwe told The Herald yesterday that it was Government’s hope that the Trump administration would restore sound relations that existed between Harare and Washington.
Zimbabwe, he said, wanted to maintain good relations with Washington and at no point had it tried to pick a fight with the US.
Said Dr Mushohwe: “Zimbabwe respects the wishes of the people of America. The American people have spoken and that is their wish and as Zimbabwe, we respect their wish. We can only hope that the new regime will foster a relationship that we always had with the USA.
“Zimbabwe has never had any quarrel with America and does not need to have any quarrel with America. The new government will restore our long time relationship that we have enjoyed with the American people. We can only be happy for the people of America who have made a choice and their choice is their democratic and constitutional choice, which we must respect.”
Dr Mushohwe said Mr Trump’s acceptance speech was encouraging as it promoted world peace and cooperation between the US and progressive nations of the world.
“As a Government, we were quite happy listening to Mr Trump’s acceptance speech. It was quite encouraging that he was talking about the need for America to cooperate and work with every nation that wants to work and relate with the American government,” said Dr Mushohwe.
“Indeed, Zimbabwe has never been an enemy of America. You know, of course, some people might say, oh, you know when you are campaigning (people), they say this and that but you must understand that when you campaign, it is part of politics. When you come into power, it becomes policy and what guides countries are policies and not politics.
“We are quite encouraged that the new regime is prepared to work and cooperate with any nation that needs to work with America. We can only wish them well. During campaign, you could see that he was even saying that he was going to take his rival (Hillary) Clinton to prison but this morning he was praising Clinton and Clinton in return was one of the first people to congratulate Mr Trump. That is what is good politics is all about and that is a demonstration of democracy at play.”
Dr Mushohwe added: “As Zimbabwe, we cannot pre-judge the new government. It could actually be a better government than the previous government.”
Zimbabwe-US relations were not as good as they could have been with the outgoing (Barrack) Obama government maintaining illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe despite spirited re-engagement efforts by Harare. Although in the last days of his administration, the Obama regime removed Industrial Development Corporation and fertiliser manufacturing entity Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company from the sanctions list, the regime maintained the sanctions law – the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act which has had devastating effects on Zimbabwe’s economy.
Meanwhile, world leaders yesterday congratulated Mr Trump after he was declared as the US President-elect.
In his message, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes to work together to lift Russian-US relations out of the current crisis, resolve issues on the international agenda and look for effective responses to global security challenges.
He said he was confident that Moscow and Washington could establish a constructive dialogue based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, and genuine consideration for each other’s positions. This would be in the interests of both peoples and of the entire international community.
Mr Putin wished Mr Trump success in the high office and responsibility of head of state.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said: “I congratulate Donald Trump upon his election as USA president. I look forward to working with him like I’ve done with his predecessors.
President John Magufuli of Tanzania added: “Congratulation President-Elect Donald Trump and the People of America. Tanzanians and I assure you of continued friendship and cooperation.”
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also added his voice saying: “Kenya congratulates Mr Trump for his victorious campaign, and his main opponent, Mrs Hillary Clinton, for her valiant effort. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. They have chosen Donald Trump as their 45th President.
Nigerian President Mohammed Buhari said: “On behalf of the government, and people of Nigeria, I congratulate President-elect on his victory in the US presidential election. I look forward to working together with President-elect Trump to build on and strengthen relations between Nigeria and the USA.