US speaks on Zim relations

Source: US speaks on Zim relations | Newsday (News)

BY MOSES MATENGA

A SENIOR United States government official says Washington remains determined to assist Zimbabweans in their quest to end human rights violations.

Hence, the US will maintain its humanitarian assistance to the southern African country.

In a virtual Press briefing, spokesman for the US Department of State Ned Price said the US was against “undemocratic tendencies” by the Zimbabwean government. He said the US would maintain its support on the fight against injustices.

He was responding to questions on the US and Zimbabwe relations and the continuous clashes between the two countries.

“We share the Zimbabwean people’s aspirations for a country that offers democracy, justice, human rights, and prosperity for all, supporting human rights, supporting these values in Africa and around the world. It is absolutely a priority for us and we will continue to work on ways to support those aspirations of the Zimbabwean people,” he said.

Relations between Zimbabwe and the US have been frosty with Washington accusing Harare of human rights abuse against its citizens and failure to politically and economically reform.

The US imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001 and has been renewed to include individuals who would have fallen foul of the measures such as those involved in the 2018 and 2019 shootings.

He added that the US had poured over US$3,5 billion to Zimbabwe for humanitarian purposes over the years.

“Well, we have made it very clear that we are a steadfast friend of the people of Zimbabwe. Over the years, we provided more than $3,5 billion in assistance,” Price said.

He said the US was concerned about the situation in northern Ethiopia and called on parties to the conflict to end hostilities and dialogue.

On US vaccine hesitancy in Africa, Price said: “To be very clear, these are the same brand names, the same vaccines that go into the arms of and that have gone into the arms of the American people.”

“We seek to ensure safe and effective vaccines are delivered in a way that is efficient, that is equitable, and that follows the latest science and public health data.

“The vaccine doses the US government is donating internationally — we know they are safe. They are effective. They have received emergency use authorisations from both the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the WHO (World Health Organisation) on the international level, and they are the same vaccines that we are making available to the American people. That is the 80 million that has since turned into 110 million.”

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