Cultural performance at the 31st anniversary of Zimbabwe independence in the capital of Harare. The country is preparing for national elections within the next year., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
US Senator joins fight against Zim sanctions
Saturday, 02 June 2012 18:04
Sunday Mail Reporter
United States Senator Jim Inhofe has added his voice to the growing calls for the lifting of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe
by his country and its Western allies,noting that the embargo is affecting the lives of the ordinary man and impeding economic development.
Inhofe, who is a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and has introduced a Bill that seeks to have the sanctions scrapped, highlighted that the embargo was “hurting and not helping the Zimbabwean people”.
The US legislator’s statement comes hot on the heels of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s call for the lifting of the illegal sanctions.
It also comes at a time when Government has taken the fight against the illegal sanctions a notch up with the Attorney-General, Mr Johannes Tomana, filing a lawsuit against the European Union.
A statement posted on the US senate website last week reads: “US Sen Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and leading advocate for the continent of Africa in the US Senate, today strongly supported recent comments made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that economic sanctions against Zimbabwe be lifted.
“Since 2001, economic sanctions against Zimbabwe have resulted in the denial of extension of loans, credits, or guarantees to the Government of Zimbabwe from the United States or any international financial institution.”
The statement quoted Inhofe as saying: “I fully support UN Commissioner Navi Phillay’s (sic) belief that economic sanctions are only hurting — not helping — the Zimbabwean people.
“Over the last four years, Zimbabwe’s power-sharing Government has improved the economy and the general well-being of its people.
“This is evident by both the sharp decline of their inflation rate and the improvement of their gross domestic product (GDP).
“However, with the continuing inability to receive international loans or credits, Zimbabwe’s economy is held back from achieving total fiscal prosperity.”
US fallacy of dominance suffers a serious knock
Saturday, 02 June 2012 17:44
The United States has always had a knack for harbouring superfluous ambitions which are embedded in its fixation with seeing itself as a superpower and central figure of Western hegemony.
In its myopic imagination, the US perceives itself the “big brother” of all world states and is ever ready to retain its penchant to tell all to toe the line or “face the consequences”.
However, the Americans are becoming increasing incensed by China’s tremendous expansion given that the Asian country continues to extend its influence on world economic affairs.
Because of this, the US fallacy of dominance has suffered a serious knock, prompting Washington to come up with measures to counter the Chinese influence.
The recent appointment of Mr David Bruce Wharton as US chief diplomat to Zimbabwe seems like the latest manoeuvre by Washington to counter Chinese influence and the Look East Policy in Zimbabwe, judging by what the Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Africa Affairs said during a lecture he gave recently.
In the lecture titled US Policy in Africa and its Intersection with Chinese Interests and delivered on April 6, Mr Wharton gave away his ambitions as he laid out the guidelines that he will be working under when he assumes office in Harare in the coming weeks.
Mr Wharton, who will replace Ambassador Charles Ray, said the United States would continue its interventionist policy on Zimbabwe and boldly claimed that his country’s policy did not recognise the sovereignty of independent states.
“On democracy and governance, the United States is unapologetic in supporting the majority of Africans in their quest for democracy and human rights even when our efforts are castigated as a violation of sovereignty by those that seek to tighten the political space.
“We believe that democracy is the only path to long-term stability and economic growth in Africa. This view is supported by the fact that most conflict instability and state failure has been preceded by authoritarianism and disregard or the lack of rule of law.
“The US approach to conflict mitigation also includes approaches that are sometimes termed interventionist such as economic sanctions and trials of war crimes . . . such as Sudan and Zimbabwe,” he said.
In what seemed like a declaration of a cold war on China, Mr Wharton also criticised the Asian giant and the statement smacked of shameful jealousy of the strong relations that China has built in Africa.
“Because of its own tragic experience with foreign meddling in the past, China follows a non-interventionist policy and to seek good relations with any government regardless of that government’s record on democracy and human rights issues. Although this policy may limit the international community’s ability to isolate some regimes politically and economically, it should not be misconstrued as obstructionist.
“China adapts very quickly to political change and embraces new governments as they emerge, even when those governments displaced governments with which China had good relations. Formal recognition of Taiwan is the only major redline for re-engagement,” he said.
“On mitigating conflict through the billions of dollars that the US contributes to the UN in annual access obligations through humanitarian relief, training of African peacekeepers the United States has contributed significantly to the humanitarian efforts. Our country has historically played an important role in conflict mitigation in Africa.
“China, thus far, on the other hand, has not been a major player except for its relative limited support in UN peacekeeping missions of about 1 500 peacekeeping troops spread around Africa,” he said.
Mr Wharton showed how the US has virtually become afraid of China when he revealed that China should not dislodge “those of us that are already in Africa”.
“It’s wrong to say we are in competition for resources. Increased trade is in the interests of the United States because Africa’s economic growth is a core policy objective and has an economic potential that is still untapped.
“Africa is a continent of three billion people and is three times the size of the United States and has an economic potential that is still untapped. It could easily accommodate
China more without dislodging those of us that are already there,” he said.
Political analyst and Zimbabwe’s former envoy to China, Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, said it was apparent that the United States was jealous of China.
“The United States has become sulky and jealous of Chinese investment in Africa. The US has become very afraid of the Asian giant because the Chinese government sits on US$3 trillion, which is the highest figure of the greenback in the world.
“Mr Wharton was disingenuous because he should encourage Africa to find its own value and do business with the Chinese if it is beneficial to them. He should not undermine what the Chinese have done for Africa.