Archive for the ‘U. S’ Category

Zimbabwean authorities received a warning on
Monday from the United States , over the
country ‘s growing cooperation with Iran ‘s
controversial nuclear programme .
P. J . Crowley , a spokesperson for the US State
Department , issued a strong statement warning
Zimbabwe that cooperating with Iran on its
nuclear programme would violate existing UN
resolutions. He said Zimbabwe could face
international penalties if it helped with Iran ‘s
nuclear development .
The State Department warning came after
Zimbabwe’s foreign minister , Simbarashe
Mumbengegwi, made statements suggesting
that UN sanctions on Iran are unfair and
hypocritical .
” The foreign minister of Zimbabwe is entitled to
his opinion but the government of Zimbabwe is
still bound by its commitments to the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty and relevant U . N .
Security Council resolutions ,” Crowley told
He said helping Iran to extract uranium would
violate U . N . Security Council resolutions and
” There are ramifications for countries that
decline to observe their international
obligations . “
Officials from Iran and Zimbabwe have been
holding talks to find a way to utilize large
reserves of uranium that were discovered in
Zimbabwe. It is known that Iran ‘ s foreign
minister visited Zimbabwe ” secretly ” in January
to assess the situation . After the visit, Robert
Mugabe denied reports that Iran had secured
uranium rights, but made statements suggesting
Iran had the right to ask for it .
Iran needs the uranium ore for its ambitious
and secretive nuclear development and
Zimbabwe does not have the expensive
equipment needed to process it. The US and its
UN allies believe Iran secretly wants to develop
nuclear weapons . Iran ‘s refusal to cooperate
with the UN Atomic watchdog has led to military
sanctions .
Noting that both Zimbabwe and Iran have been
criticized for harsh human rights abuses ,
Crowley joked: ” It would be quite a match for
Zimbabwe and Iran to cooperate ” on uranium

By Tererai Karimakwenda
9 March 2011
Sw radio Aftica

HARARE – Zanu ( PF ) is currently abusing the
government with adverts in newspapers and on
the state radio attacking the so -called sanctions
and people in the country who do no ascribe to
their views , the United States Ambassador to
Zimbabwe Charles Ray said .
Since the launch of the so -called anti -sanctions
campaign, Zanu ( PF ) has been running full
length adverts in the state media with a
government insignia .
” It is very disappointing to see full page ads
from the Zanu ( PF ) Information Department
under the heading ‘Government of Zimbabwe’
and adorned with the great Zimbabwean coat of
arms . Zanu ( PF ) is a political party , which does
not speak for the government of this great
country . Additionally , Zanu ( PF ) , which is part of
the government, has its own symbol that is
quite distinct from the Zimbabwean coat of
arms , ” said Ray .
The former ruling party last week formed an
anti -sanctions committee that is chaired by Vice
President John Nkomo. However , other
members in the Inclusive Government have
distanced themselves from the sham describing
it as a Zanu ( PF ) project .
Acting President Nkomo said in a statement that
thousands of people who were forced to attend
the anti -sanctions launch demonstrated that
they were against sanctions .
” This exceptional support was an emphatic
statement to Britain, the European Union ,
America and to all those interests which have
slapped sanctions against the people of
Zimbabwe,” said Nkomo.
In reality there are no sanctions on the people
of Zimbabwe, but rather targeted measures on
a few individuals . USA, America and Britain in
particular have played a significant role in
extending aid to the people of Zimbabwe.
Many people in both rural and urban
communities have benefited significantly from
USAID and other western donors . Yet Zanu ( PF )
says that sanctions are ” an attack on all
Zimbabweans. “
The United States dispelled the anti -sanctions
rhetoric as unfounded.
Said Ray , ” the ZANU-PF Information
Department is using misinformation and
completely unrelated facts to mislead the
public . The facts are:
1. For more than ten years , Zimbabwe has been
ineligible to receive any type of international
loan , regardless of U . S . and EU opinions, due to
its leaders ‘ failure to make payments on its
debt . Zimbabwe ‘s unpaid debts to the African
Development Bank , IMF , and World Bank put a
stop to lending long before there were
sanctions .
2. Zimbabwe’s current political and economic
environment , including fresh threats from the
President on his birthday to take over
established companies , has a chilling effect on
new investment , both domestic and
international. Banks and other businesses are
responsible to their share holders , and find it
increasingly difficult to justify investing in such a
high risk environment . Only economic
and political sanity will change this .
3. Fewer than 120 Zimbabweans are named on
the legal U . S . sanctions list , almost all of them
Zanu ( PF ) leaders who had a hand in political
violence against their fellow citizens. They may
not travel to the U . S . or do business with U . S .
companies because Americans do not want
them to enjoy the fruits of their corruption on
our soil . This does not hurt other
Zimbabweans. What hurts the rest of the
country is the corruption , mismanagement , and
lack of social investment that has brought
development to a standstill.
The former ruling party has exclusive control of
the state media and abuses it to attack
Mugabe’ s political rivals .

Written by Munyaradzi Dube
Tuesday , 08 March 2011 17 : 41

The US Ambassador to Zimbabwe , Charles Ray ,
has rubbished claims Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai got political advice and instructions
from the US Embassy in Harare .
Ray , who was touring the Bulawayo Public
Library ’ s American Corner , told NewsDay he no
longer paid attention to the accusations, mainly
coming from the state media .
“ I do not pay attention to political rhetoric . I do
not try to give Tsvangirai instructions.
“ Knowing him ( Tsvangirai) I don’ t think he will
take what I would say, ” he said .
A UK-based writer , Blessings-Miles Tendi , last
week claimed former South African president
Thabo Mbeki told him in an interview Tsvangirai
consulted the former US Ambassador , James
McGee , during inter-party negotiations about
Zimbabwe’ s future in 2008 .
According to Tendi , Tsvangirai ’ s conversations
with McGee were reportedly recorded by
Zimbabwean intelligence and passed on to their
South African counterparts .
“(President Robert ) Mugabe ’ s narrative all along
has been that the MDC is a stooge of the West .
What is that then ? And people are surprised
when Sadc leaders don’ t take the side of MDC.
“ It is things like these that cause mediocrity. It ’ s
really pathetic that a leader would call the US
Embassy and ask for advice, ” Mbeki is alleged to
have said in the interview , which was later
leaked to WikiLeaks.
The MDC- T shot back saying Mbeki had revealed
his soft spot for Zanu PF and claimed he was
responsible for the split of the opposition
movement in 2005 .
Ray said it was not American policy to dictate to
any leader how to run their country but it was
the duty of the American ambassador to help
individuals who wanted to help the country
“ We have to distinguish between rhetoric and
reality. The reality is that you have a lot of
people in Zimbabwe who want to help the
country do better and we have to work with
those people.
“ It has nothing to do with which party they are
in ,” he said .

2011 18 : 10

Harare , Zimbabwe (CNN) — Washington has
ruled out lifting sanctions on Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle
until the regime shows a greater respect for
human rights, said a U . S . official visiting the
southern African nation Friday .
Susan Page, the deputy assistant secretary for
African affairs , said the United States was
concerned by the recent rise in ” political
violence , wanton intimidation of the public , and
partisan arrests and prosecutions . “
She applauded Mugabe ‘s statement last week
calling for an end to the violence but questioned
whether that message was filtering down to his
security forces.
” We hope President Mugabe, as head of state
and commander in chief of the armed forces,
also conveys that message to the police and
security services, ” Page said. ” The credibility of
that statement , however , ultimately will be
reflected in if or how it is honoured . “
Page said if Mugabe’ s party wants to play a
constructive role, ” it must reject the use of
violence and fear in its operations. “
Mugabe ‘s critics accuse the longtime ruler of
using violent means to hush his political
opponents, who are part of a unity government
that Mugabe wants ended .
In recent days , police in Zimbabwe have
arrested dozens of political activists, students
and trade union members for allegedly plotting
an Egyptian-style uprising . Defense attorneys
have reported torture of the detainees .
U . S . State Department Spokesman P . J . Crowley
said the activists were charged with treason and
urged Mugabe’ s government to uphold
international human rights laws and ensure due
process for those arrested.
The United States and the European Union
imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe in 2002.
Mugabe blames those sanctions for his
country ‘ s woes — which late last year included a
90 % unemployment and an inflation rate of
231, 000,000% – – and threatened to seize all
Western -owned investments in the country
unless sanctions were lifted .
Mugabe has held power since Zimbabwe
became independent in 1980 . In 2009 , he
formed a coalition government with challenger
Morgan Tsvangirai, who was named prime
minister .
But last December , Mugabe announced he was
tired of working with the opposition party ,
which he said ” lacked ideology and policies ” and
called for an election this year .
Tsvangirai , however , has threatened to boycott
the poll if a referendum on a new constitution is
not held .

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 4 , 2011 — Updated 1855 GMT ( 0255

If there is something that has been nagging at
Zimbabwe’ s politics for the past decade , it is the
issue of sanctions , and yesterday , ZANU PF
whose business has been declared to be the
protection of the country ’ s sovereignty and
independence , unleashed its campaign
machinery tow -ards mobilising against the
sanctions . It is an issue that has dogged the
inclusive government since its inception in
February 2009 . The MDC party formation led by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has insisted
the sanctions are mere “ restrictions ” , but Dep-
uty Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara , the
former leader of another MDC formation, has
loudly condemned the sanctions , which the
West argue are targeted against President
Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle .
“ There is no economic sanctions regime in this
country , there are restrictive measures,” Prime
Minister Tsvangirai told a public accountability
seminar orga – nised by the Media Institute of
Southern Africa ( MISA ) and the Centre for
Public Accountability ( CPA ) last year , adding:
“ We have agreed as principals to tackle the issue
of restrictive measures as this isolation has
affected the lines of credit . ”
But President Mugabe and his ZANU PF party
insist that the sanctions are not targeted but
were rather put in place to accelerate Zimba –
bwe ’ s economic collapse in order to undermine
his government under what ZANU-PF describes
as “ the regime change agenda” .
ZANU-PF began mobilising support for two
million signatures to accompany a petition
against the sanctions by the EU and the US
government yesterday at an event where
President Mugabe was the chief guest. Prime
Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister
Mutambara had been invited to the occasion,
but reports indicate that they snubbed the
event .
In a campaign advertisement, ZANU-PF
highlighted that Article 1 V of the global political
agreement ( GPA ) , the instrument that facilitated
the creation of the inclusive government, had
bound all three political parties in the inclusive
government to fight “ illegal sanctions impo- sed
on the Zimbabwean people by the United
Kingdom , the Europ- ean Union , United States of
Ame- rica and international financial institutions
like the IMF and the World Bank ” .
“ This article of the GPA attests to the direct
connection between these illegal sanctions and
the decline in the Zimbabwean economy; the
non-availability of lines of credit to Zimbabwe;
the negative international perception of
Zimbabwe; and the fall in the standards of living
of the Zimbabwean people, ” read the ZANU-PF
campaign banner .
“ Sanctions do kill! Sign against them , act against
them !” charged ZANU- PF .
Recently , business has come out in support of
measures to withdraw the sanctions , arguing
these had become an unbearable cost to
business and the economy .
It is indeed true that sanctions have been a
factor in Zimbabwe’ s economic de- cline that
ended with formation of the inclusive
government in 2009 , but they were certainly not
the major reason for the sharp decline. With the
economic crisis emerged a sharp decline in
living standards .
For many years , and as most economists and
economic journalists will confirm , the critical
economic story was government’ s budget
deficits which were largely accrued to finance
recurrent expenditure .
There was very little for capital projects , key to
the development of an economy and job
creation .
An economic adjustment programme backed by
the IMF in the early 1990 s had only worsened
the situation . Its intentions had been noble:
There was need for belt tightening as well as
austere measures by government to grow the
economy . But government panicked at the first
signs of upheaval; austere measures meant the
erosion of so -called social safety nets , and free
health care for the poor . As a result, these
reforms were abandoned , and government
argued they had been inappropriate for the
domestic economy.
But the decline in the economy became gradual;
rising commodity prices stoked spontaneous
protects in Harare ’ s urban areas after bread
prices went up in 1998.
Similar protests were to ensue in consequent
years , triggered largely by declining standards of
living and rising unemployment .
These were precisely the issues that triggered
the em -ergence of the opposition in Zimbabwe
in 1999, with the Zimbabwe Congress of Tr -ade
Unions ( ZCTU ) secretary -general , Morgan
Tsvangirai , now Prime Minister of the inclusive
government , emerging the favourite to le- ad
efforts to unseat the inc- umbent government of
Pre -sident Mugabe from power.
But , just th -en, the contentious issue of land
ownership emerged , and ZANU-PF , whose
leadership had always lured voters on the back
of promises to re -distribute land to landless bla –
cks , seized on that issue to win back support
and fend off the threat posed by the opposition .
Unsettled white farmers began bank- rolling the
M-DC formation led by Tsvan -girai , and the
international community — the USA , the EU ,
Australia, New Zealand and a few others outside
the EU block – jumped into the MDC’ s corner.
But that only served to make the MDC’ s struggle
for power a racial affair : President Mugabe
charged that the condemnation of his
government was an issue of “ kith and kin” — the
British , who led the campaign against ZANU-PF
and President Mugabe , were angry with his
government for taking away land from the
whites .
The US first targeted Zimbabwe in 2001 after
the controversial land reform programme that
saw thousands of white -owned farms invaded
and occupied.
The Zimbabwe Dem – ocracy and Economic
Recovery Act ( ZIDERA ) directed that the US
government should oppose the granting of any
loan or financial assistance to Zimbabwe.
President George Bush then expanded the
sanctions by declaring a national emergency to
deal with the Zimbabwean threat in 2003 .
Meanwhile , the opposition ’ s cup ran over, with
massive financial packages from the West –
President Mugabe had to be removed from
power , and the only viable option was the
emergence of Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his
MDC party which they bankrolled with reckless
abandon . Today , senior activists within the MDC
can be counted among US dollar multi –
millionaires through this money , yet village
activists maimed for the struggle against ZANU-
PF have been neglected, in fact shunned by a
party whose struggle has massively enriched a
So , while the economy had already been on a
downward trajectory , and required a miracle to
be salvaged from that course , it was also clearly
the intention of the West to ensure Zimbabwe
was isolated in order to undermine President
Mugabe ’ s government and buttress a surging
opposition through economic sanctions .
Although denying that there were economic
sanctions in place , Prime Minister Tsvangirai,
however , noted that “ the issue of restrictive
measures” was a form of economic “ isolation
( that ) has affected the lines of credit ” into the
country .
Which , put in other words , essentially means
sanctions on President Mugabe and his cabal of
associates were not necessarily smart or
targeted but general economic sanctions which
were meant to have a bearing on the economic
performance .
How does banning individuals of a detested
government from travelling to the EU or the US
achieve democratic reforms unless those
individuals ’ lives depended on visiting those
countries ? The truth is it is Zimbabwe ’ s economy
that depends to a significant extent on financial
interaction with the EU block and the US , rather
than President Mugabe and members of his
government . Besides, the squeeze on
companies targeted under the regime of
sanctions for allegedly propping President
Mugabe ’ s former government have hundreds of
employees dependent on them , and also
interact with many other economic players for
the growth of the Zimbabwean economy . The
management of Zimbabwe’ s economy had
indeed an effect on Zimbabwe ’ s credit
worthiness , but ZIDERA and other sanction
measures gave a cue to financial institutions on
how they had to deal with even private sector
players in the crisis- torn economy.
Yet even without ZIDERA, Zimbabwe had
become unqualified to access balance of
payments support from the IMF because of
protracted arrears.
A US embassy spokesperson in Zimbabwe
indicated in a recent response to an article by
The Financial Gazette that ZIDERA , signed into
law in 2001 , and provisions contained in
subsequent appropriations acts , restricted the
ability of the United States to cast its vote in
support of assistance to Zimbabwe in
international financial institutions ( IFI ’ s) , except
for programmes that meet basic human needs
or promote democracy .
But indeed Zimbabwe was already ineligible for
multilateral loans before ZIDERA due to its
arrears to the IFIs . But ZIDERA made it a law
that the US did not have to support financial
support that could result in a positive turn to
Zimbabwe’ s struggling economy under President
Mugabe ’ s regime .
To many watchers, ZIDERA and indeed other
forms of sanctions against President Mugabe
and his allies are not an obstacle to Zimbabwe’ s
economic recovery , as observed by the recovery
experienced over the past two years . Yet their
removal is indeed an integral part of the GPA,
and indeed full implementation of that political
agreement also includes removal of sanctions .
“ The United States advocates full
implementation of the Global Political
Agreement , an accord brokered by SADC and
signed by each of the three parties represented
in the transitional government , and the holding
of free and fair elections that will reflect the will
of the majority of Zimbabweans ,” the embassy
spokesperson had noted in the statement to this
newspaper .
The spirit of any democratic system is that
political power should be vested in the people,
and if the US , the EU and their allies are sincere
about building a democratic Zimbabwe free of
exogenous influences , they must remove the
sanctions to give the contending political players
equal chances on the ballot .
This is not to say violence , electoral fraud or
human rights abuses from any of the
contending forces should be condoned ; but , it is
certainly not the reason why the US , the EU and
their allies have kept sanctions against President
Mugabe and so-called members of his inner
circle .
The West has stuck to regimes whose leaders
won power through fraudulent elections . Until
the recent protests that triggered the flight of
Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt , that Arab
country was the single largest recipient of
financial support from the US .
There West has done business with despotic
regimes across the globe , including China ,
whose prominent dissident , Liu Xiaobo, a jailed
Chinese rights activist , won the 2010 Nobel
Peace prize last year , as well as the Equatorial
Guinea or Gabon whose violation of human
rights is equally detestable . Muammar Gaddafi
was until the recent protests viewed as a
“ rehabilitated dictator” after he had agreed
access to Libya ’ s oil resources to the west.
So , even if the sanctions on Zimbabwe might be
a token of apprehension by the West over
Zimbabwe’ s human rights record, they risk being
deduced in racial terms because of the
inconsistent application of that measure by the
West .
This is why regional leaders , including South
Africa’ s President Jacob Zuma , have urged their
withdrawal and patently shown sympathy to
President Mugabe because of the perception
that he is a victim .
To allow for meaningful reforms , these
sanctions have to go and the political gladiators
have to then agree to meaningfully level the
political playing field .

Dumisani Ndlela , Deputy Editor – in- Chief
Friday , 04 March 2011 12 : 56

Washington (CNN) — The United States
expressed concern Thursday about recent
arrests in Zimbabwe of political and civil society
activists and allegations by their lawyer that
some of them were tortured.
On February 19 , former Movement for
Democratic Change Member of Parliament
Munyaradzi Gwisai and 45 other labor union
and student activists ” who had gathered
peacefully to discuss recent events in Egypt “
were arrested and charged with treason , State
Department spokesman Philip J . Crowley said in
a statement .
Other political and civil society activists have
also been arrested, he said.
” Gwisai ‘ s defense attorney has reported that
several of the 46 people were tortured while in
custody, and we understand that the magistrate
has ordered physical examinations to
substantiate those claims,” he said. ” We call on
the government to provide medical attention for
those who need it and , if torture occurred , to
take immediate action to hold the perpetrators
accountable . “
A ruling on the charges’ merits is to be delivered
March 7 .
Crowley called on the government of Zimbabwe
to uphold rights spelled out under the
International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights and to ensure that those arrested are
guaranteed due process .
Zimbabwean authorities said the 46 people were
arrested and charged with treason after they
were caught watching footage of the protests
that led to the ouster of Tunisian leader Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak .
” On 16 February they held a meeting and the
purpose of the meeting was to organize,
strategize and implement the removal of a
constitutional government of Zimbabwe by
unconstitutional means , the Tunisian-Egyptian
way ,” prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba said last
week in court .
At least 12 of the activists were beaten with
broomsticks on their buttocks and the soles of
their feet, defense attorney Alec Muchadehama
told a packed courtroom on Thursday . All 46
defendants were charged with treason, a charge
that carries a death sentence in Zimbabwe.
” If watching television footage of the uprisings
was treason, most Zimbabweans would be guilty
of it because we watch news daily,”
Muchadehama said .
Robert Mugabe, 87 , has ruled Zimbabwe since
independence in 1980 . Like Mubarak and Ben
Ali , he has been accused of rigging elections and
instituting repressive laws to tighten his grip on
power .
The arrests may be an indication that authorities
are worried that the changes sweeping across
north Africa may inspire Zimbabweans to rise
up . The opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, MDC, which is in a troubled unity
government with Mugabe’ s ZANU-PF , has called
the arrests ” an abuse of state machinery by
ZANU-PF to suppress the people’s views . “
Mugabe ‘s policies over the past decade have
been blamed for plunging the once-prosperous
country into economic crisis . Mugabe has called
for an election this year , but his political rival
and leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, has
threatened to boycott the poll if a referendum
on a new constitution is not held .

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 4 , 2011 — Updated 0151 GMT ( 0951

HARARE ( Reuters ) – The United States Thursday
condemned a recent spate of violence in
Zimbabwe and blamed President Robert
Mugabe ‘s party for the attacks , which are
heightening tensions ahead of possible elections
this year .
There has been a spate of clashes between
Mugabe ‘s ZANU-PF and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai ‘s Movement for Democratic Change
( MDC) , which has left a dozen people injured in
the past two weeks, with a ZANU-PF mob
looting shops in Harare this week .
” The United States is alarmed by , and
condemns , the recent spate of political violence
perpetrated by youths and opportunists
affiliated with elements of ZANU-PF , ” the U . S .
embassy said in a statement .
MDC members have warned unity government
partner and rival Mugabe to drop his ZANU- PF
party ‘s plans for an early election , saying the poll
could lead to a bloodbath .
Mugabe , 87 later this month , and Tsvangirai
were forced into a coalition government two
years ago after a disputed poll in 2008 which
led to mass violence , a flood of refugees into
South Africa and a deeper economic crisis in the
resource- rich state.
State media have been reporting that the tenure
of the shaky coalition ends Friday , its two -year
anniversary .
Mugabe has proposed a referendum on a new
constitution and a general election by June – two
years ahead of schedule , although ZANU-PF
spokesman Rugare Gumbo told the Financial
Gazette : ” Basically, we are toying around with
dates around August . “
The MDC first suggested early elections to break
deadlocks in the coalition, but says the climate is
now not right. It is demanding political reforms
before any vote .
While ZANU-PF and MDC trade blame , the U . S .
Embassy in Harare said all the parties should
renounce violence and urged the police to
enforce the law without bias .
” We commend the restraint shown by those
victimized or affected by these assaults in not
responding with violence . “
The level of political violence , which had
dropped over the last two years , is on the rise
again with talk of the election .
Tsvangirai says ZANU- PF militants , led by war
veterans , are targeting MDC structures and
accuses the police of taking sides with ZANU-PF .
A police spokesman said this week the MDC was
responsible for the violence while portraying
police as victims .

By MacDonald Dzirutwe
( Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Philippa Fletcher )