US not Prosecutor-General of the world — Govt

Herald Reporter

THE United States of America is neither the Prosecutor-General, nor the Judiciary of the world, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere has said.

Reacting to the peace-meal lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe by the US government this week, Dr Muswere said the Government, led by President Mnangagwa, had zero tolerance to corruption and the country’s foreign policy was guided by the re-engagement and engagement pillar which stipulated that Zimbabwe was a friend to all and an enemy to none.

“We continue to call on the USA to remove the sanctions unconditionally,” Dr Muswere said. 

He clarified that a number of anti-corruption structures had been undertaken including the setting up of SACU and consolidation of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police to deal with corruption cases. The Judicial Service Commission was also being resourced and capacitated.

Prosecution of high-profile corruption cases were also being brought before the courts of law.

Zimbabwe, Dr Muswere said, had professional and well-equipped institutions which supported a functional democracy and upheld the rule of law, making the continued imposition of sanctions against it baseless and unjustified. “These sanctions are illegal in terms of international law and we call for their removal,” he said.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the official launch of three national ICT policies and the commissioning of the second phase of the fibre optic backbone by President Mnangagwa in Somabhula on Thursday, Dr Muswere, said issues related to the alleged persecution of the Government’s political opponents were absolute nonsense as in reality, there was no known record of such happenings.

He chided the United States government and its allies for the continued imposition of sanctions, saying there was need to distinguish political persecution from criminal activities perpetrated by opposition figures.

“The USA is not the regulator of the world and imposing and prolonging sanctions is a Direct attack on Zimbabwe’s institutions and the people. We practice democracy for our own good. There are a lot of anti corruption initiatives such as the prosecution of high-profile cases. As a country, we have enough institutions that are equipped, that are resourced to be able to develop our democracy. The background is that historically we fought for our democracy, we fought for one-person one-vote. The issue related to persecution of political opponents is absolute nonsense.

“The reality is that there is no known record of political persecution of any opposition politician in our country. We should be able to separate political issues from common criminal issues and in terms of the laws of our country, no one is above the law and anyone who is going to participate in illegal and criminal activities will be arrested in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe,” said Minister Muswere.

He said the Second Republic had strengthened and consolidated legislation, capacitated and resourced anti-corruption institutions.

Under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, the country had  witnessed a number of high-profile corruption cases being prosecuted and the US was not the prosecutor-general of the world, neither was it the human rights defender of the world.

“We practise democracy in our own country for our own good in terms of our laws and in terms of our Constitution.

“Anyone who incites violence will be arrested and prosecuted and we have a viable judicial system. Law and order have to be maintained by law enforcement agencies and it is for the Judiciary to be able to acquit or to convict an individual.“We have an independent judiciary and this is precisely the reason why Job Sikhala is out because he was acquitted following processes.” 

In a statement earlier in the week, Minister Muswere said the US government’s revised executive order issued on Monday, further prolonging the illegal imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe, was inconsequential as it disregarded the clarion call by African countries and progressive organisations, for the unconditional lifting of the unjustified embargoes.

Dr Muswere said the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa was affirming its continued fight for the immediate and unconditional removal of the illegal sanctions which emanated from Zimbabwe’s decision to redistribute its land to correct the imbalances of the past.

The Government dismissed any suggestions that the 2024 executive order was a new development between Harare and Washington, as President Mnangagwa and others had always been under sanctions.

“Consequently, we do not celebrate the current delisting of some key players in our political economy from the sanctions list. 

“This is predicated on the fact that Zimbabwe was never supposed to be under any form of sanctions from another nation in the first place,” said Minister Muswere.  “The illegality of these sanctions emanates from their flagrant violation of international laws. In the merit of this legal rationality, Zimbabwe continues to call for the unconditional removal of illegal sanctions including the immediate delisting of all individuals and entities affected by the current order.

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