Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe has rejected preconditions set by the US government to access a US$60 billion facility availed to the African continent at the recent US-Africa Summit held in Mozambique.
This was said by President Mnangagwa while addressing Domboshava residents during yesterday’s clean-up campaign held at Showgrounds.
The President said an offer to vote alongside the US at the United Nations was dangled when he met US officials at the summit as part of the preconditions to access money from the fund. The money is meant to counter an arrangement agreed between Africa and China during last year’s Forum for Africa China Cooperation Summit (Focac) held last year, where the Asian giant made a similar offer to African countries.
President Mnangagwa said while in Maputo two weeks ago for the US-Africa Summit, he met US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mr Tibor Nagy and asked; “ . . . you have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, what have we done wrong to you?
“You have prevented Zimbabwe from accessing support from (the) World Bank, IMF (International Monetary Fund), what have we done against you?
“There’s not time in history that we have done anything wrong against you, so what is it? There’s no time that Zimbabweans have done wrong against you, so what is it?”
President Mnangagwa said the US had brought US$60 billion “just like what China did, but China did not put preconditions”.
“They just said submit your projects and if they are accepted, you will be supported.
“But the Americans’ money comes with preconditions, they said when it’s time to vote at the UN (on any issue), you vote alongside us to access the US$60 billion, but we rejected that. When we vote, we are guided by our national interest of Zimbabwe.
“We are a full member of the UN and we can’t sell out. If the money has no such preconditions, we can get it, but if it does have preconditions to sell out, then we don’t,” said President Mnangagwa.
However, President Mnangagwa said the country was willing to engage and re-engage with any country in the world under the new thrust of the Second Republic.
While US officials insist that its sanctions regime imposed on Zimbabwe is not targeted at ordinary citizens, the embargo has prevented the country from accessing lines of credit from global financial institutions, which would have been used to boost technologies to enable Harare to fully exploit its abundant resources.
The US says the sanctions are only targeted at 64 individuals and 56 entities, a bizarre claim considering that the 56 companies have employees and firms such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) that are struggling to access spare parts due to sanctions.
President Mnangagwa also said Zimbabwe had vast natural resources and a good climate capable of turning around the fortunes of the economy.