Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sibusiso Moyo, says chaos and violence at Capitol Hill in Washington DC last Wednesday should serve as a wake up call for America, which is widely regarded as an icon of democracy.
In a statement, Moyo said the violence by supporters of President Donald Trump, who wanted to block the confirmation of Joseph Biden as next leader of the country following the November presidential election, should result in US policy makers to make a “sober reflection and the emergence of a less prescriptive style of engagement with countries such as Zimbabwe”.
“For a nation which prides itself on the democratic example it sets for others, and which judges and often punishes others for failing to meet its lofty standards of moral rectitude and governance, the events of January 6 must surely have come as a massive reality-check: a stark reminder that all is far from well within the heart and soul of the self-styled ‘leader of the free world’; that America itself is failing to meet the very benchmark standards it demands of all others; and a clear demonstration that its governance systems and institutions are far from infallible.
Moyo said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government expects the USA to completely change its engagement policies with Zimbabwe.
“Our hope, as Zimbabweans, is that the reality of such deliberate politically-motivated violence; the reality of systems-failure and institutional fallibility – especially now, as a new administration takes office in Washington — may lead to a period of sober reflection among US policy and decision-makers, and the emergence of a different, less prescriptive style of US engagement with others — including Zimbabwe.”
The United States and its allies imposed targeted sanctions on some Zanu PF officials and companies citing alleged election rigging and human rights abuses. About 88 individuals and 37 companies are currently under the restrictive measures.
Zimbabwe hopes that the incoming Biden administration will improve its relations with the southern African nation currently gripped by record hyperinflation and
“We look forward to working closely with the incoming Biden Administration, and its Africa team, to inject new impetus into our re-engagement efforts and to continue the task of rebuilding a strong, productive bilateral relationship based on mutual understanding and respect. Just as we are very confident that Americans will swiftly move past the ugliness and chaos of January 6 and the deep polarisation which characterizes.
“US society today, so too are we confident that Zimbabwe and the United States will indeed find one another and succeed in rekindling the multi-faceted, co-operative and mutually beneficial relationship we once enjoyed.”
The USA has over the years pressed Zimbabwe to conduct sweeping political reforms before targeted sanctions are lifted.