President Emmerson Mnangagwa has spelt out a firm position that Zimbabwe can only expect a helping hand from fellow African countries than ‘big boys’ in the United Nations, as he was handing out marching orders to Zimbabwe’s representative to the United Nations, Albert Chimbindi.
Speaking after the farewell, the president said the G7 is a group of seven countries who meet and ‘determine what development thrust the world must follow and what influence they must-have in the development of the entire world.’
The Group of Seven is an inter-governmental political forum that consists of seven countries including Canada, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Since the new dispensation in 2017, Zimbabwe has been on a re-engagement drive with previously alienated countries and international bodies. Last month, the European Union met with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Fredrick Shava. The bloc said they are prompting Zimbabwe of human rights obligations that required for engagement. However, Mnangagwa was quick to mention that the ‘big boys’ always play a human rights card on developing nations.
“On the issues of human rights, I told my ambassadors that one weapon which the big boys use is the question of human rights. They ignore human rights violations in their backyards, in their own countries, in their jurisdictions. But they go around talking about human rights violations in developing countries when worse human rights are happening in the jurisdictions of these major countries,” said the President.
Earlier this year, the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom extended their long-standing sanctions on Zimbabwe. The country has been focusing on other countries that are ready for bilateral relations in addition to other big nations such as Russia in addition to the long-running Look East Policy.
“As far as Zimbabwe is concerned, under the current economic environment we are living in, over two decades of sanctions imposed by the big boys (Western nations) Zimbabwe is surviving on the bases of three issues; attending to our domestic resources to survive, secondly, the support we receive in our region as SADC, both at the economic and political level and thirdly under the auspices of the AU.
Beyond that, we have other countries at the United Nations that have not imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe so we continue to relate to them, so on matters of development my Ambassador should not think that the G7 will ever think about promoting Zimbabwe, he must realise that our survival is based on our resources, support in SADC, support by AU and bilateral relations with other countries,” added the President.
During the recent extraordinary summit of SADC heads of states and government held in June, SADC reiterated its call on the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe and assured their support in the ongoing socio-economic strengthening efforts.
Albert Chimbindi was appointed ambassador to the United Nations, New York. He previously served as an envoy in Ethiopia and the African Union.