Mugabe, West come face to face

via Mugabe, West come face to face – DailyNews Live by Bridget Mananavire 23 SEPTEMBER 2013

President Robert Mugabe will this week come face to face with the Western leaders whose countries have rejected the outcome of the disputed July 31 polls, particularly United States President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mugabe is in New York for the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly running under the theme: “Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Other Internationally Agreed Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities” where he is likely to meet face to face with Obama and Cameron.

Both the US and Britain have imposed sanctions on Mugabe, and dismissed the polls which saw Mugabe winning by 61 percent as a fraud.

But Mugabe last week appeared to soften his stance towards the West ahead of this week’s UN General Assembly telling Parliament that he was ready to engage the West.

It is not clear whether Mugabe, who has used the general assembly to blast the West, will go on his usual tirade or will seek reconciliation with the people whom he has for many years, described as his detractors.

The 89-year-old ruler said he was ready to “work even with those who, before, were at odds with us, our detractors”.

Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said it would be tricky to judge on how the Western countries would react to Mugabe’s re-engagement efforts.

“We have no choice but to re-engage, however, we don’t know how they will react, but obviously they have a lot to consider,” he said.

Relations between Zimbabwe and Western countries have been sour for over a decade with Mugabe and his Zanu PF associates being banned from travelling to Europe and the US.

Zanu PF has blamed the sanctions imposed on its party officials and linked businesses, for slowing Zimbabwe’s progress on the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), whose deadline is in two years.

The party claims an estimated $42 billion is said to have been “robbed” from Zimbabwe by sanctions.

Normal ties with the West would help Zimbabwe’s economic recovery from a decade-long slump that ended in 2009 with the scrapping of the “worthless” Zimbabwe dollar.

However, the successful running of the elections which was to go a long way in proving that Zimbabwe is a democratic country capable of a democratic process, failed short of impressing the West.

Mugabe was re-elected to serve for a seventh term after a disputed July 31 election this year, he has so far sworn in a new Cabinet, which is expected to carry the country forward after the coalition government.

Lovemore Madhuku, a political analyst and constitutional expect said it was time sanctions on Zimbabwe were lifted so that Zanu PF’s performance can be properly judged.

“I think it is about time the debate on sanctions is ended to open up a new discourse in Zimbabwe.

“Of course, Mugabe and Zanu PF are sincere on re-engagement, they will be happy if sanctions are lifted because they have suffered a lot under them.”

“Sanctions have always been Zanu PF’s excuse for poor service delivery even in a country with resources Zimbabwe has,” Madhuku said.

However, it will be a different story for Kenya, as for the first time since its independence, the country will not be represented at the UN Assembly.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his  deputy are facing trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.



  • comment-avatar

    Mugabe want to re-engage because he has no choice – without western help he cannot change anything – but the US, England and the rest of the EU, with the exception of Belgium, have no such pressure to reconcile. He’s done very little to encourage them to re-assess their position. Allowing western observers to witness the July 31 elections firsthand would have been a brilliantly strategic diplomatic move, but Mugabe isn’t brilliant. He’s merely an opportunist who thinks tactically, but fails to see the big picture.

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    Repeal sanctions but at the same time stop all aid, Zimbabwe must grow up and be treated as an adult. If they cannot perform then sink. If people starve then maybe they wont vote for those that rob them. Let it all go back to survival of the fittest.

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    Nyepudzayi 9 years ago

    I wish they do not give him the opportunity to address the UN assembly , because all we are going to hear about is sanctions sanctions without any positive action at home .

  • comment-avatar
    Africanson 9 years ago

    Its amazing that some of us we advocate for starving our own people.


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    Zvichapera 9 years ago

    There are no sanctions against Zimbabweans in general but targeted against some individuals and a few companies who have been proping up Mugabe and his inner circle. They want to make us believe that sanctions are the cause of the economic decline in Zimbabwe and yet the problem starts from the land grab of Chinotimbas. How soon we forget, that is the problem with us Zimbabweans. We are now crying when we inflicted this on ourselves. Targeted sanctions must stay or even be tightened until we have solid political reforms in place.

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    Johnny k 9 years ago

    We must realize that the word “Sanctions” should be replaced with “Halted donations by the West.” We owe the Donor community (world bank and IMF) some U$ 10 Billion that Mugabe and his cronies squandered. The same people who squandered this money are still in power. They have no intention of reinvesting their stolen diamond money to repay the “Loan” or in using that stolen loot to feed the starving masses. Why should we expect foreigners to feed our people when we have millions of hectares of arable land lying fallow?

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    Chivula Mapoti 9 years ago

    Well said and I agree.
    Zimbabwe has massive diamond assets, huge expanses of arable farms and vast mining projects – all waiting for honesty, transparancy and the Private Sector. Not ZANU-PF.
    Where in the civilized world do you see a government running diamonds and mineral mines, farmland and tourism. These are run by private sector entrpreneurs.
    Mugabe is nothing but an old fool, a thirf and a liar!

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    Democracy wisher 9 years ago

    Do you think lifting of Zimbabwean sanctions will change anything???It wll continue bebefiting the Zanu cronies whilst the majority is just suffering,2ndly Mugabe’s mind is now thinking like a toddler wht do you expect?????