Monday, July 22, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) More black Zimbabweans in Aussie than ex-Rhodies
Breaking the ice ... Ambassador Mathew Neuhaus meets Simon Khaya Moyo in Harare
09/07/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

AUSTRALIA’S Ambassador to Zimbabwe said Tuesday that there was now more black Zimbabweans in his country than Rhodesians as he opened the prospect of better relations between the two countries after this month’s elections.

"These elections are important for our future relations,” ambassador Matthew Neuhaus said during a meeting with Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo at the party’s Harare headquarters.

“There are now more black Zimbabweans in Australia than white Rhodesians. We also have a black Zimbabwean in our foreign service."

Uncertain about their future, an estimated 49 percent of the Zimbabwe's white population left the country after independence in 1980, the majority settling in South Africa and the UK while others emigrated to Australia, Canada as well as New Zealand.

Most of those who remained left beginning 2000 as the government started seizing white-owned farms 2000 to redistribute them to landless blacks.

But thousands of black Zimbabweans also followed them to escape a deepening economic and political crisis blamed by some analysts on the West's angry response to land reforms, among other problems.

Meanwhile, Neuhaus said he was holding meetings with all political parties as the country prepares for key polls on July 31 which will elect a substantive government to replace the coalition administration.

He said credible polls would help improve relations between the two countries which have been frayed after Canberra joined other Western countries in 2002 to impose sanctions against Harare over allegations of electoral fraud and human rights abuses.

Khaya Moyo however said Harare did not agree that Australia should have joined what he described as a dispute between Zimbabwe and the UK.

"We have nothing against Australia; not at all. We do not see the reason why Australia should be against us," he said.

"It (imposition of sanctions) is a great violation of human rights because many lives are at stake. Those who imposed sanctions should feel guilty because many people lost jobs and are suffering.”

Australia has since joined the European Union in easing the sanctions to reward for a series of reforms implemented by the coalition government which included a new Constitution.

Canberra has said it was ready to completely remove the sanctions provided Zimbabwe holds credible elections.

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