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Fresh test for Zimbabwe's re-engagement efforts as the US hosts crucial Africa meeting

by Staff reporter
31 Jul 2022 at 17:50hrs | Views
DESPITE spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a public relations stunt and expending energy on an international re-engagement exercise, Zimbabwe continues wallowing in isolation amid reports that the United States has not invited Harare to a crucial investment summit in December.

Reports indicate that Zimbabwe will not be represented at the US-Africa Summit this December just like the southern African country missed out on a virtual indaba on democracy last year.

US embassy officials in Harare would not immediately confirm whether President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration will be part of the December meeting that will see over 50 African leaders in attendance, but The NewsHawks is reliably informed that only countries which took part last year will participate in this year's indaba again.

Last year, Zimbabwe was sidelined from attending the US Democracy Summit, with observers saying the snub confirmed the frosty relations between the two countries despite Harare's efforts to re-engage with the international community.

Although US President Joe Biden in a statement this week did not mention the countries which will participate in the crucial meeting, it was established that he will maintain the same stance former president Barack Obama took in 2014 during a similar summit when he invited the vast majority of leaders but excluded Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Eritrea and Sudan due to human rights and democracy concerns.

The US has been consistent in calling out Zimbabwe for human rights violations and has renewed sanctions despite the coming into office of Mnangagwa who promised reforms and re-engagement after taking over from the late former president Robert Mugabe via a military coup in 2017.

"I look forward to hosting leaders from across the African continent in Washington DC on December 13-15, 2022, for the US-Africa Leaders' Summit. The Summit will demonstrate the United States' enduring commitment to Africa, and will underscore the importance of US-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities."

"The US-Africa Leaders' Summit will build on our shared values to better and foster new economic engagement; reinforce the US-Africa commitment to democracy and human rights; mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and of future pandemics; work collaboratively to strengthen regional and global health; promote food security; advance peace and security; respond to the climate crisis; and amplify diaspora ties."

"I look forward to working with African governments, civil society and diaspora communities across the United States, and the private sector to continue strengthening our shared vision for the future of US-Africa relations."

When Mnangagwa rose to power, some Western diplomats viewed him as a reformist and their governments were willing to give time to prove himself.

However, Mnangagwa's re-engagement efforts have spectacularly failed and the US and United Kingdom have shut their doors in his face, prompting him to change his tone and accuse them of interfering in Zimbabwe's internal affairs.

Mnangagwa's desire to return to the Commonwealth under his re-engagement drive recently hit a brick wall, with the grouping insisting Zimbabwe should address human rights violations, but he has failed to meet the set conditions.

Source - thenewshawks
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