Follow the law: US tells Mugabe

via Follow the law: US tells Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 5, 2015

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe must learn to follow the law on electoral issues although polls are never perfect, outgoing United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton has said.


In a farewell discussion in which he answered questions from ordinary people and the youth in Harare, Wharton urged government to shift its focus from sanctions to the economy.

Mugabe and some members of his inner circle were slapped with targetted sanctions on allegations of human rights abuses.

“No election is perfect. But we need the Electoral Act here to be followed. The 2013 election was peaceful, that is a big step in the right direction. Elections have been a problem both in Zimbabwe and in the US, for example, the Florida elections. The US government believes the 2013 elections were not credible. Even [Patrick]Chinamasa [Finance minister] admitted that the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe is bigger than sanctions,” Wharton said.

He dismissed claims that the US sanctions have constrained the country’s economic recovery arguing that the meltdown was never a result of sanctions and that America continues to trade with Zimbabwe.

“Sanctions are not the reason Zimbabwe’s economy is performing badly, but rather bad or inconsistent policy decisions by the government. Sanctions are not the problem; no correlation to economic growth,” Wharton said.

“There are more fundamental economic issues that Zimbabwe can focus on other than sanctions. Murkiness in the indigenisation policy is the problem, not the concept itself. On Black Friday when the Zimbabwe dollar value fell by 75%, that was not due to sanctions.”

He added that between 2008 and 2010, the economy grew significantly despite the sanctions mantra.

“OPIC [the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US government’s development finance institution] has underwritten a $200 million investment in BancABC. Bilateral trade between Zimbabwe and the US is $160 million in favour of Zimbabwe. This is still small, but has been growing.

“There is no prohibition on Zimbabwean farmers exporting to the US, but there is need for a drive to open the markets. Zimbabwean farmers need to focus first on producing enough for the local market before they focus on international markets,” he said.

Wharton called for respect of democratic rights including freedom of speech.

“Freedom from being abducted is a human right. Land and property law needs to be upheld because without these no one will invest. Respect for human rights, to speak freely without concern of retribution, [is important],” he said.

With continued reports of the conflation of the ruling Zanu PF party and government, Wharton said it was vital that there is clear separation of powers.

“A strong Parliament is a way of ensuring separation of powers and conflict between ruling party and the government.

“How Zimbabweans manage their society is something only Zimbabweans can determine,” he said.

Wharton denied government claims that civil society organisations in Zimbabwe are fronts of the US government funded to facilitate the regime change agenda.

“Civil society groups are not fronts for the US government. The US does not dictate to civil society what [they] think, do, follow. But I still think there are areas for civil society and government to find common cause. No society is static, civil society needs to examine own roles and how they adapt to the changes


  • comment-avatar
    mandevu 7 years ago

    murderers – all of them

    • comment-avatar

      Follow the Law??

      I would like to believe that of all the Devils in this world Mugabe is better. Recently the US smashed Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Hospital and call it a mistake, after all they knew and calls were being made to stop the shooting….

      No one is above the law!! US should follow the law.

      OK: If you say sanctions didn’t contribute to the economic melt down, here is the scenario:

      “A father (Mugabe) has 5 kids (me&you – maZimbo) and his wife of course, he also accommodates his friend’s sons (varungu) in his house. His main source of income is selling furniture to neighbours (exports).

      Everything appears to be fine, Income is flowing children are sent to school and food is on the table etc from this furniture trading, however the father’s sons are squashed in one room and the friend’s sons are living large in father’s house. Father attempted to discuss with varungu to share evenly the rooms and stuff around the house, but as u can all guess now they refused.

      With pressure coming from all directions father decided to kick the friend’s sons out. there begun the nightmare…..

      Friend (UK/US etc) told every neighbour (all countries where father was exporting) not to buy from father (Sanctions!!!), flow of income started to dwindle. UK/US threatened to put sanctions on any one who tries to trade with father. all this was to drive father’s children against him, IT WORKED. because kids were hungry they could not think beyond their empty tummies and chaos begun (It was a calculated move!!! by the west to push us to the edge to cause instability even civil war in our country)

      The story goes on and on … [That’s Politics my friends]

      US and its allies are equally evil, evil… stop blaming just BOB, he is a better devil.”

      By the way, We (Kids) are the only ones who are justified to blame Bob (our father), for miscalculating the effects of going against the western forces.

      All said, Zimbo’s we are survivors, we pulled through the challenges.

      My definition of sanctions: “Sanitized form of GENOCIDE which has been legalized by the western powers to implement on anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their rule. This can wipe out a generation, corrupt minds, stills human rights”


  • comment-avatar

    mr mugabe has understood that with independence comes freedom,
    but he has never understood that with freedom comes responsibility.

    his rule has been a catalogue of irresponsibility, arrogating to himself the freedom to break the law with impunity, or to amend it to suit his whim.

    the result is a state on the cusp of failure.

  • comment-avatar
    mufungi 7 years ago

    How has Obama’s presidency benefited Africa?

    • comment-avatar
      anytimeanywhere 7 years ago

      why should Obama’s presidency benefit Africa, Africa has many countries with leaders who are suppose to utilise the resources for the people, but instead they are all corrupt and bad administrators. Obama is president of USA, African presidents should look after their own countries not to expect a president of another country to help them while they do absolutely NOTHING BUT Steal from their people. Pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • comment-avatar
      anytimeanywhere 7 years ago

      For the record Obama is USA president, Africa has presidents in each and every country who are “democratically” elected and are expected to perform not to expect Obama to hand-over hand-outs to them. Also For the record Africa has sufficient resources to look after its inhabitants, but bad administration, corruption etc from our so called leaders has left the people so poor.

    • comment-avatar
      todiizvazvo 7 years ago

      Africa has got its own presidents,why want to benefit from Obama.
      Learn to stand own your own