US shifting goal posts on re-engagement: Musabayana

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Harare (New Ziana)- The United States of America is shifting goalposts in an effort to frustrate Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts, a senior government official has said.

The US and some Western countries imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2000 in a bid to force the government to give up on its land reforms in which it compulsorily took excess farmland from white farmers to resettle landless blacks as part of an economic empowerment programme.

A few white commercial farmers owned the bulk of Zimbabwe’s fertile farmland, a privilege derived from colonial rule.

Responding to questions in the Senate last Thursday, Musabayana also blamed opposition legislators for siding with the US imposition of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.

“Like what we did in an endeavour to normalise relations with the European Union where we formed dialogue; we are now working on formalising and making a platform by having dialogue between Zimbabwe and the United States of America.

“What is disturbing us is that right now, they are changing goal posts but that is simply due to the fact that some of our citizens are continuously disrupting our efforts by sending bad signals,” he said.

“Most of the people that we meet are surprised when they come here, they always ask that what we hear and what we see are totally different things,” he said.

Musabayana said campaigning for the removal of sanctions and normalisation of relations with the west was not a responsibility for the government alone.

” So my word of advice is, it is not only the President or Government that should do that – all of us as citizens have the duty to ensure that these sanctions are removed, that is what we have done as SADC and the African Union” he said.

He said it was unfortunate that some Zimbabweans continued lobbying for the imposition of more sanctions.

“For example, the investment in Batoka which is four point something billion dollars, they also came on board through the John Deere facility. We heard that the former United States of America ambassador will go and encourage American investors to invest in Zimbabwe but here is the problem.

“Those parties that want to get into power are now continuing to demonstrate and act in such a way that will ensure that the sanctions are not removed. They continue acting, for example whenever they hear that there is a global or important summit, they start acting, for example portraying the country in bad light through faking abductions or violence, ” said Musabayana.

New Ziana

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