Zim-West relations: Time to turn swords into ploughshares
discuss issues of mutual concern, which meeting was held on Tuesday.
As we reported in yesterday’s issue, both parties described the meeting as cordial and fruitful.
We are encouraged by Ambassador Ray’s announcement that the US stands ready to build bridges with Zimbabwe as so much time has been spent on non-productive issues, which we believe was his euphemism for his country’s abortive quest for illegal regime change here.
We couldn’t agree more with the US ambassador for our quarrel was never with the Americans, neither was it with the British people in general.
Our quarrel was with the Labour regime of former premier Tony Blair, who opted to break the international law of succession by refusing to be bound by obligations entered into by the Tory administration of Margaret Thatcher at the Lancaster House Conference in 1979, an agreement that was underwritten by then US president Jimmy Carter.
As such ours was a purely bilateral dispute between Harare and London, a dispute which Blair sought to internationalise, and the Americans, in pursuit of their own foreign policy goals, needlessly bought into precipitating the cold war of the past decade.
While we do not know what motivated Mr Ray’s gesture and subsequent conciliatory utterances, we hope he walks his talk, for talk is cheap.
President Mugabe is on record calling for bridge-building between Harare, and London and Washington.
We are equally encouraged by utterances made by the new British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mrs Deborah Bronnert, as she presented her credentials to President Mugabe last week, where she said Britain stood ready to work with any government that emerges after the elections, be it Zanu-PF or MDC-T.
We, however, would like to hasten to add that there can be no meaningful engagement let alone investment in an environment of economic warfare.
EU and US sanctions are a form of warfare and have to be scraped if Mr Ray and Mrs Bronnert’s talk of engagement and investment is to morph into anything above rhetoric.
The US sanctions law, the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act was enacted with a view to economically isolating Zimbabwe by cutting balance of payments support and lines of credit from multi-lateral lending institutions as well as penalising and punishing any American companies that sought to do business with Zimbabwe.
To this end Mr Ray has his work cut out for him; bridge-building begins with the removal of Zidera and respecting our right to self-determination.
Mrs Bronnert, on her part, has the burden of history on her shoulders.
It was with the Tories that Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980, and it was with the Tories that obligations to fund land reforms were entered into, but it was with Labour that the international law of succession was broken.
The Tories represent the progressive side of British politics and must be seen to be doing things differently from the Labour gangsters.
It is time Western envoys moved from rhetoric to action.
Let’s all turn the swords of the past decade into ploughshares.