Source: Reforms to boost Zim-US relations | The Herald July 26, 2019
Cletus Mushanawani Mash Central Bureau Chief
The continuous implementation of economic and political reforms will ensure closer Government-to-Government relations between Zimbabwe and the United States of America, says USA deputy chief of mission, Mr Thomas Hastings.
In an interview after paying a courtesy call on Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Monica Mavhunga at her offices in Bindura yesterday, Mr Hastings said: “We work very closely with the people of Zimbabwe in many ways and we hope that if this Government implements economic and political reforms there can be closer Government-to-Government relationships as well.
“We have always been very engaged with the people of Zimbabwe. Our work in this province is evidence of that. It is not just health work where we are involved with.
‘‘We have been doing de-mining work and I will be travelling to Rushinga tomorrow (today) to see some of the work done there. We have a very close relationship with the people of Zimbabwe in many ways.”
Mr Hastings’ comments come at a time when Zimbabwe has doubled its re-engagement efforts with the once hostile Western nations.
Plans are afoot for President Mnangagwa to meet the USA President, Donald Trump.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo, this week told the Parliamentary Portfolio on Foreign Affairs and International Trade that the heavy cost to the economy has necessitated Zimbabwe’s policy thrust of re-engagement to ensure the country returns to the community of nations.
“This is the main reason why our foreign policy at the moment targets at re-engagement with those countries who have seen us in negative a way and who should therefore unlock this particular area.
‘‘That’s why since his inauguration, His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) has dynamised Zimbabwe’s quest to normalise relations with the West through re-engagement.
“Serious and focused dialogue has already been initiated with key constituent countries among them the United Kingdom, the US, Germany, France, Sweden and Australia.
“The main objective of the re-engagement is to normalise all aspects of the country’s relations by ending Zimbabwe’s isolation and reopening all lines of communication.
‘‘The engagement with the EU, until the advent of the Second Republic, the EU refused to recognise the legitimacy of the outcomes of any election accusing (the) Zimbabwe Government of vote rigging and human rights abuses.”
In Zimbabwe, the USA has been involved in supporting the country’s health sector.
“I am visiting this province . . . , actually this is my first time to be out of Harare since I came here just a few weeks ago. A large part of the USA government support for the people of Zimbabwe is in the area of health.
‘‘Our commitment to the people of Zimbabwe in the area of health is very strong.
‘‘We have been working for nearly 15 years now training people and building capacity in the area of HIV as well as providing medicine,” said Mr Hastings.
The USA Embassy has an ongoing project at Tsungubvi Clinic in Mashonaland Central.
Through some of the developmental partners, the embassy is supporting HIV programmes which include treatment and care, laboratory support as well as implementing voluntary medicinal male circumcision in five districts.
Cde Mavhunga said: “We really appreciate the support you are giving us. At national level, you are helping in the procurement of medicine and the training of health staff.
‘‘Your work in the fight against HIV is really appreciated. Your projects in the province are in sync with the devolution agenda where we want to see the uplifting of our people.”