PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zimbabwe government have no one to blame but themselves in their failure to reengage with the United States and the European Union (EU).
Since coming to power in November 2017 through a “soft coup” that overthrew long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa has made it his number one priority to see the end of Zimbabwe’s isolation from the Western block.
Mnangagwa was asked to implement a number of reforms by these world super powers in order for his government to be fully-recognised and earn lines of credit. However, nothing much happened on the reforms front as evidenced by what occurred during last year’s harmonised elections.
Electoral, media, and human rights reforms were never fulfilled resulting in the disputed outcome which effectively ended any hopes of Zimbabwe’s smooth return to the global political arena.
The US extended their targeted sanctions on Mnangagwa and other selected government officials while Zimbabwe readmission to the Commonwealth is still on ice.
The West is not asking much from Mnangagwa as most of these reforms are low-hanging fruits which can be easily achieved.
There is just no political will at Munhumutapa as it seems Mnangagwa is hell-bent on following his predecessor’s footsteps.
In the aftermath of the Tropical Cyclone Idai which claimed the lives of more than 300 people in Manicaland, Zimbabwe has received a lot of aid in cash and kind from the West.
Speaking to survivors in Rusitu last week, Mnangagwa revealed that Elizabeth, the Queen of England and her son Prince Phillip had been in contact with him and are ready to offer any kind of assistance to Zimbabwe.
US President Donald Trump, whose administration has refused to remove targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe, sent his ambassador to Harare Brian Nichols to deliver a cash donation of $2,5 million.
Trump went further to state that Harare should write to his administration a detailed communique of everything that is required to ensure that affected areas in Manicaland become habitable again.
The EU has also been at the forefront of raising money, medical supplies and other relief items to help the survivors cope with the scale of the devastation. This shows that the EU and the US are very reasonable in their requests to see Mnangagwa implement reforms.
Even though they have maintained their targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe, they are still very much keen on helping Zimbabwe.