‘Zim remains threat to US policy’

via ‘Zim remains threat to US policy’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 16, 2015

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF regime remain a threat to American foreign policy despite attempts from both sides to try and normalise relations between the two countries, United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton said yesterday.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

However, Wharton told NewsDay in an exclusive interview that Zimbabwe could not be placed in the same basket as North Korea and Iran, countries previously described by the US as “outposts of tyranny”.

Wharton said the signing of an Executive order every year by a sitting United States President, renewing sanctions against Mugabe and his inner circle and a select group of corporates meant that Harare remains in the category of “threats” to American interests.

“The President (Barack Obama) has to renew every year an Executive order that maintains the targeted sanctions against 106 individuals in Zimbabwe and 69 entities,” he said.

“In that Executive order it talks about threats to American security interests.

“That includes health security, economic and democratic security.

“President Obama and (George W) Bush before him have consecutively decided that some of the situation pertaining to Zimbabwe does pose a threat to American security interests.”

Wharton said despite the sanctions, trade between Zimbabwean and the US remained in Harare’s favour.

“Zimbabwe sells to the US more than it buys and there is no impediment to that growth, it is currently $125 million and I think it should be a billion dollars a year and one of the things I am doing with my staff is trying to grow that trade relationship,” Wharton said.

He reiterated his commitment to normalising relations with Harare.

“There are so many things that draw us together that I am confident that those values we share will overcome the differences we have today in matters of policy and we will have a fine relationship in the future,” the US ambassador said.

Mugabe often blames Western countries including the US for Zimbabwe’s long-running economic problems.

COMMENTS

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  • comment-avatar
    Trebor Ebagum 7 years ago

    What in the world does Zimbabwe produce? Silly article. Let them export their diseases somewhere else. You’ve made your stye, now wallow in it.