Saturday, November 13, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) Sadc summons US envoy over Zim sanctions

Sadc summons US envoy over Zim sanctions
Posted: Thursday, November 11, 2010 10:27 am

NAMIBIA, in its capacity as Sadc chair, recently summoned the American ambassador in Windhoek to explain why her country continued to impose illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, it has emerged.

Speaking to The Herald newspaper at the Harare International Airport yesterday morning, Namibia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Utoni Nujoma, said Windhoek had done this in its capacity as Sadc chair and as a fellow opponent of imperialism.

Minister Nujoma said Windhoek had summoned Ambassador Gail Dennise Mathieu to express their displeasure over the economic embargo.

He said: "From our side as the chair of Sadc, we have called in the ambassador of the United States of America to tell her the Sadc position and that of Namibia that these sanctions must go now."

At the Sadc Summit in Namibia in August, regional leaders mandated Sadc chair President Hifikepunye Pohamba and the Troika chaired by President Rupiah Banda of Zambia to lobby Western powers to remove their ruinous sanctions.

To this end, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma — who is the deputy chair of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security — has already told the European Union and the United States to lift their sanctions.

Minister Nujoma added that the illegal Western sanctions were affecting the whole region and Sadc leaders should expeditiously lobby the international community for their removal.

He said: "An important decision was made during the Sadc Summit in Namibia in July that these illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe must go because they have a contagion effect on Southern Africa countries.

"Because of these sanctions, the Heads of State and Government decided that the chairman of Sadc (President Pohamba) and chairman of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, President (Rupiah) Banda of Zambia, and his deputy should undertake a trip to the Western countries; to go to the United Kingdom, the European Union and also to the United States of America and tell them that time has come for these sanctions to go."

He said the Organ was responsible for organising the principals’ itinerary.

Minister Nujoma, who was in Zimbabwe at the invitation of his counterpart, Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, as part of efforts to boost bilateral ties, left yesterday.

"I also came here to discuss issues to do with peace and security in the region. We still have problems in Madagascar and we are still trying to solve that issue.

"There are still some pockets of problems in the DRC and we are working with President Joseph Kabila.

"We discussed issues of food security in Zimbabwe and in the region.

"We agreed the only way to solve the problems in Zimbabwe is the removal of the economic sanctions."

Minister Mumbengegwi thanked Namibia for offering Zimbabwe use of a facility at Walvis Bay harbour.

"Namibia has sacrificed a lot for Zimbabwe. During the time of the cholera epidemic, they did a lot for this country.

"Zesa and Nampower entered into a deal where Namibia gave us US$40 million to rehabilitate our systems.

"Not many countries are able to come and assist a sister state when in trouble," he said.

Also at the airport was Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu.

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