Wednesday, October 09, 2013

MDC-T in no-show, handlers pitch up
September 18, 2013
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—

BRITISH, American, Australian and Canadian ambassadors whose countries have refused to endorse the harmonised elections yesterday attended the Official Opening of the First Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe deriving from the same election they lampoon.

Their presence mirrored the double standards shown by their charges in the MDC-T who actively participated in the election of mayors and chairpersons of local authorities held countrywide on Monday only to boycott the official opening of Parliament 24 hours later ostensibly to protest the outcome of the harmonised elections whose outcome they endorsed by taking the oaths in Parliament.

While the MDC-T was counting its losses in the wake of a nationwide revolt that saw its councillors elect Zanu-PF mayors in several towns and cities, the party’s western handlers were at Parliament listening to President Mugabe lay out the legislative agenda for the next 12 months.

The Western diplomats hailed President Mugabe’s speech and promised to work with Team Zanu-PF in a number of areas.

They, however, said their governments would maintain the illegal sanctions regimes until such a time they were satisfied with the developments in the country.

British ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Deborah Bronnert, described Parliament as an important institution the world over.

“Parliament throughout the world is a very important institution. Those are institutions that we support. Obviously we want to work in order to help the people of Zimbabwe so that they have the peaceful and prosperous future they aspire for.”

US ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Bruce David Wharton described President Mugabe’s speech as very ambitious, saying Washington would work with Zimbabwe in some of the areas spelt out by the President.

“I think the President has done a very fine job bringing out a very ambitious and important legislative agenda to the House (National) of Assembly,” he said.

“I think there are a number of areas that I hope my government can be supportive. I think agriculture development is one of the things we have been working on for the last several years. It is very important.

“Trafficking of persons, I was delighted to hear the President speaking about the importance of that so I hope we can help on that as well.”
Australian Ambassador Mr Matthew Neuhaus said he was impressed by President Mugabe’s address on how the new Government would tackle the economy.

“That was a good address by the President,” he said.
“I like the focus on economic development and I think a lot of work needs to be done there and I hope the Parliament will see the Government and the opposition working together very well on these issues.”

Mr Neuhaus said Canberra wanted a sound relationship with Harare and he looked forward to seeing policies that encouraged foreign direct investment in Zimbabwe.

“We would like to see policies that encourage foreign investment so there would be some re-examination on these.
“It was good to see peaceful elections, but we have some concerns with the elections; we will be reviewing these issues later.

“We have a new government in Australia and cabinet was announced only yesterday but so we will be looking on all these issues. But we do want to continue building good relations with Zimbabwe.”

South African ambassador to Zimbabwe Professor Vusi Mavimbela said: “For Sadc this is great progress going forward and we have always worked towards this.

“Now that the elections are behind us the new Government has been inaugurated, we have opened the First Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe and the President has outlined the programme of action going forward and that is what we want to see in Sadc. We want to see the economy coming back, we want to see integration in the region.”

Zambian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mrs Ndiyoi Mutiti said her country would continue working with Zimbabwe. “I wish to congratulate the people of Zimbabwe for the great work that they did. This is a combination of a process that began with the constitution-making and then we have peaceful elections and now we have the opening of Parliament and the President has set out a course about the issues that need to be tackled.

“There is a lot that is waiting out there for Zimbabweans to do and I commend them and I wish them well and we are behind them and we are working together with them.

Botswana Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Gladys Kokorwe said she was hopeful that the economy would go back to what it used to be before the imposition of sanctions.

“This was a powerful speech. I have really enjoyed the President’s speech. I was very happy when he talked about the civil servants that their salaries are going to be reviewed because that will raise their morale and will work hard for this country.
“I am hoping that this country is going back where it used to be.”

Mozambican Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Pedro Davane said the illegal sanctions imposed should be removed unconditionally.

“We are of the view that sanctions must go to allow the people of Zimbabwe to fully benefit from what God had given them.

“The election has taken place, the people of Zimbabwe have spoken loudly and clear and it is not fair for anybody to create any type of hindrances,” he said.

Mr Davane said policies outlined by President Mugabe were in sync with Zanu-PF’s election manifesto.

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