Saturday, November 02, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Sanctions: Zimbabwe ends West engagement
05/10/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE will not engage in any further lobbying to have Western sanctions on the country lifted, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said on Saturday.

Zimbabwe is unhappy with the “intransigence and lack of objectivity” shown by Western countries led by former colonial power Britain in the wake of the July 31 elections which swept President Robert Mugabe back into power, the minister said.

“Any country that does not want to accept the will of the people of Zimbabwe, that’s their own business. I am saying it clearly that there is nothing more to negotiate with them,” Mumbengegwi told the official Herald newspaper.

“It’s not Zimbabwe which should re-engage the West, but it is the West that should re-engage Zimbabwe. We are not going to engage them anymore because it is them who unilaterally imposed sanctions on us and they should first unilaterally lift them.

“What we are demanding first is the unconditional lifting of sanctions. We will not negotiate with them over sanctions because we never negotiated with them to impose the sanctions in the first place.”

The minister said Zimbabwe’s elections – approved by the African Union and SADC but criticised by Western countries whose observers were barred from taking part – had been “free, fair, and the most credible you will ever find in the whole world.”

“We came almost close to perfection,” Mumbengegwi said. “We never put a foot wrong in the conduct of those elections and it is strange that the West who were never part of the observers afterwards said the elections were not free and fair.

“This shows that the West is not objective when it comes to Zimbabwe, especially when dealing with the country’s biggest political party Zanu PF.

“How could they say the elections were not free and fair when they did not observe them? Why not go by what observers from Africa and beyond said of the elections-that they were free and fair?”

In his inauguration speech after his crushing election win, Mugabe said Zimbabwe was “an open, friendly country”, adding: “We seek friendship across geographies, across cultures, and quite often against past wrongs. We seek partnerships with all nations of goodwill, but partnerships based on sovereign, equality and mutual respect.”

He added: “As of those odd Western countries who happen to hold a different, negative view of our electoral process and outcome, well, there is not much we can do about them. We dismiss them as the vile ones whose moral turpitude we must mourn.

“They are entitled to their views, for as long as they recognise the majority of our people endorsed the electoral outcome, indeed for as long as they recognise that no Zimbabwean law was offended against. And for us that is all that matters. After all, Zimbabwean elections are meant for Zimbabwe’s voting citizens.

“Having struggled for our independence, our fate has irrevocably orbited out of colonial relations, indeed can no longer subsist in curtsying and bowing to any foreign government, however powerful it feigns itself to be and whatever filthy lucre it flaunts.

“We belong to Africa. We follow African values here. We follow our conscience. We abide by the judgment of Africa as indeed, we did in 2008 when Africa advised us to set aside results of the disputed elections.

“Today it is Britain, and her dominions of Australia and Canada who dare tell us our elections were not fair and credible. Today it is America and her illegal sanctions which dare raise a censorious voice over our affairs. Yes, today it is these Anglo-Saxons who dare contradict Africa’s verdict over an election in Zimbabwe, an African country. Who are they, we ask? Who gave the gift of seeing better than all of us?”

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