via Obama strikes back at Mugabe – DailyNews Live by Bridget Mananavire 5 OCTOBER 2013
US President Barack Obama’s administration says it is ready to add more names to the sanctions list, after President Robert Mugabe rubbished the nation at the recent United Nations General Assembly.
Mugabe, who during the 8th Parliament official opening pledged to mend relations with “detractors”, rebuked the US, Britain “and her allies,” for sanctions, a move that prompted the US delegation to walk out on his speech in disgust.
Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Thursday said US sanctions on Zimbabwe would continue on both companies and individuals, though she could not give a time-frame.
“We will be reviewing those sanctions on a regular basis, and if there are additional individuals who should be sanctioned, we are prepared to add them to our sanctions list,” she said in a LiveAtState teleconference with international media.
“And if there are people who we think can be removed from the sanctions list, we will remove them,” she said.
Thomas-Greenfield added that Washington was disappointed with the conduct of the July 31 elections.
“While it was violence-free, we’re not convinced it provided an opportunity for all Zimbabweans to express their views in the election. And again, we will be reviewing our sanctions in light of that,” she said.
The European Union last month lifted sanctions on the government diamond body Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation as it “begun the process of delisting”, despite raising concerns of election irregularities.
Mugabe was re-elected to serve for the seventh term in a disputed election that was a major yardstick in defining future relations with Western countries which soured over a decade ago.
Zanu PF has blamed sanctions imposed on its party officials and linked businesses, for the country’s current economic woes.
The party claims an estimated $42 billion is said to have been “robbed” from Zimbabwe by sanctions.
Mugabe told the UN General Assembly that sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and the European Union violated fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter on state sovereignty and non-interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state.
Saying “shame” thrice to the US, Britain and its allies, Mugabe ordered them to remove sanctions he deemed “illegal and filthy from his “peaceful country”.
He said if the sanctions had been intended to effect regime change, they had failed.
Relations between Zimbabwe and Western countries have been sour for over a decade with Mugabe and his Zanu PF associates being banned from stepping foot on Western territory.
Despite claims that the current US government shutdown will affect its Africa investments and funding, Thomas-Greenfield said the US will continue its operations in Africa uninterrupted.
“The State Department and USAid are major funders on the continent of Africa and because of that, we are able to continue operations, albeit sometimes at lower levels as we move forward,” she said.
“But most of our funding right now is 2013 funding and that funding will continue.
“We’re hoping that this is short-lived and we will be able to move forward, but I think most of you will not see any difference in what we’re doing in Africa on the development front or on the investment front,” Thomas-Greenfield said.