HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s representative to the just ended US-Africa Summit, Frederick Shava says he regrets the Zimbabwean president was not part of the African leaders ushered into White House this week by President Joe Biden for the high level diplomatic engagement.
Mnangagwa remains barred from travelling to the US on any business outside the annual UN General Assembly.
He is part of a group of Zimbabwean politicians, security commanders and business persons targeted for the tough restrictions for presiding over rights abuses, high level corruption and poll fraud in the troubled country.
Since the US slapped its former ally with sanctions 2001, Zimbabwe has failed to attend the US-Africa summit.
The country was finally invited this year with Mnangagwa deploying his Foreign Affairs minister to represent him.
In a post on his twitter handle Saturday, Shava hinted the summit opened up avenues for the country on both the political and economic front but said he regretted his boss was not part of the experience.
“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,” Shava said while accompanying his message with images he took with President Biden and some US top officials.
He added, “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 They are irrelevant, outdated, and should be removed in their totality.
“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.”
The United States on Monday adamantly slapped sanctions on the son of Zimbabwe’s president and three others for alleged involvement in corruption.
The US Treasury Department sanctioned Emmerson Mnangagwa Jr for his involvement with business tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei and his company, Sakunda Holdings, which were singled out for sanctions related to alleged corruption and human rights violations in 2020.
The Treasury also placed Tagwirei’s wife Sandra Mpunga, Nqobile Magwizi, and Obey Chimuka, and two companies controlled by Chumuka, Fossil Agro and Fossil Contracting, for their involvement with Sakunda.