President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe is on a re-engagement drive designed to develop and entrench democracy in the southern African nation, which has been isolated by the West over the past few decades amid claims of electoral fraud and election rigging.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Mnangagwa urged the West to remove targeted sanctions imposed on ruling party officials, claiming that they are hurting the country.
He said Zimbabwe is ready to engage all nations as the nation has opened space for free and fair elections.
“At international level, Zimbabwe has adopted an engagement and re-engagement policy. The policy is underpinned by the principles of mutual understanding and respect, cooperation, partnership and shared values with other members of the international community. We desire to be a friend to all and an enemy to none.”
But critics said Mnangagwa’s government is cracking down on dissenting voices following the arrest of over 52 opposition members accused of inciting public violence.
Khethiwe Bhebhe, a government critic, said, “It’s clear that Mnangagwa no longer has friends in the West. He is looking for friends everywhere. The bottomline is that you don’t look for friends as friends come to you when they realize that you are doing good things. With all the arrests happening right now in Zimbabwe where people are being jailed for being opponents of the government, I don’t see his government making it in terms of getting friends in the West.
“He is aligning himself with countries like Venezuela, Cuba, China, Russia and others that have well-documents human rights violations. These are the only friends that Zimbabwe will ever have. As for the West, he must forget about it.”
In his address, Mnangagwa also said, “My country is greatly concerned that more than 20 years after the Durban Declaration and program of action, hate crimes, xenophobia, racial discrimination and intolerance have continued to increase at an alarming rate, including at international level.
Some Zimbabweans living in USA are planning to stage public protests outside the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday expressing dismay over Mnangagwa’s participation at the annual event. Mnangagwa has already left the country for Cuba.
Source link : https://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/6760853.html
Publish date : 2022-09-23 20:43:20