By Staff Reporter
FOREIGN Affairs Minister, Frederick Shava, who represented Zimbabwe at the just-ended US-Africa Summit held in Washington, has expressed anguish over sanctions, which precluded President Emmerson Mnangagwa from participating at the event.
Although Shava confirmed his excitement attending the summit, he was quick to point it would have been more beneficial had his principal, Mnangagwa, been invited.
“I am happy to have been in Washington D.C. to attend the USA-Africa Summit for the first time. Also glad for the opportunities, both political and economic, it has presented though we would have preferred our attendance to be at Head of State level,” said the foreign minister.
The sanctions list, he added, was extended despite sustained calls to have embargoes scrapped.
“We are extremely disappointed that the USA chose the occasion of the Summit to add new names on their sanctions list. Our position on sanctions is clear. They are irrelevant, outdated, and should be removed in their totality.”
I am happy to have been in Washington D.C. to attend the USA-Africa Summit for the first time. Also glad for the opportunities, both political and economic, it has presented though we would have preferred our attendance to be at Head of State level. pic.twitter.com/RDMEZsubmw
— Hon. Frederick M. M. Shava (@ShavaHon) December 17, 2022
Wife to tycoon Kuda Tagwireyi and his inner circle were recently put on the sanctions list for their alleged links to the first family’s business dealings.
The foreign minister, however, reiterated his government’s resolve to re-engage its erstwhile “adversaries.”
“Despite that, our determination to re-engage is intact. We urge the USA to take the path of direct and constructive engagement, and we assure them that we are always ready to talk. As we always say, Zimbabwe desires to be a friend of all and an enemy to none,” said Shava.
Zimbabwe was invited to the United States-Africa leaders’ summit despite concern over a “dire” authoritarianism by the Harare government, which has seen a crackdown against political dissent and jailing of opponents.
Although the country remains under US sanctions, President Joe Biden invited Zimbabwe to the December 13-15 summit, which was attended by dozens of African leaders.
Mnangagwa, who is banned from travelling to the US, was represented by Shava, who was Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Washington before his Cabinet appointment.