Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE US has pledged to continue supporting Zimbabwe in all sectors of the economy and assist with the political and economic reforms following the inauguration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the country’s new leader on Friday.
The US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Harry K Thomas Jnr yesterday said his country was prepared to help Zimbabwe achieve the much needed economic stability.
“The US remains a friend to the people of Zimbabwe and we’re proud of our long term commitment to develop Zimbabwe. The US stands to assist with the much needed political and economic reforms to achieve a more stable and prosperous future for the people of Zimbabwe.
“Last year alone, the US provided more than $253 million in assistance to Zimbabwe, which supported the improvement of health systems, services, food and nutrition, security, democratic governance and economic growth,” said Ambassador Thomas.
He said the new US Embassy campus, which will open next year, is the most concrete example of his country’s continued commitment to the people of Zimbabwe.
He congratulated the country on having a new President, saying it is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to set a new path for itself.
“Congratulations, Amhlophe, Makorokoto, Zimbabwe with the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe and the swearing in of new President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Zimbabwe has a historic opportunity to set itself on a new path.
“The path that must include democratic elections and respect for human rights. It must be the people of Zimbabwe who choose their Government. Through that process, the US urges unwavering respect for the rule of law for established democratic practices,” said the Ambassador.
The people of Zimbabwe, he added, have firmly voiced their desire for a new era that will bring an end to Zimbabwe’s isolation and allow the country to rejoin the international community.
“The future of Zimbabwe must be determined and established by the people of Zimbabwe to help them shape the future they desire for themselves,” he said.
Ambassador Thomas commended President Mnangagwa’s maiden speech and urged him to put his words into action.
“The President’s words were important but it is the actions of the new Government that matter the most in the weeks and months ahead. Whatever short term arrangements the Government may establish, the path forward must lead to free, fair and inclusive elections.
“Elections in which the people of Zimbabwe are free to assemble peacefully without undue interference and to voice their opinions without fear to choose their own leaders,” said Ambassador Thomas.
In a speech that has received worldwide acclaim, President Mnangagwa said his Government will, with immediate effect, implement sweeping measures across sectors to stimulate economic growth and create employment.
Among the many measures, President Mnangagwa promised a sturdy re-engagement with the international community as “isolation has never been splendid or viable.”
The positive maiden speech elicited an immediate response from the British government that pledged to work closely with the new Government to turn around the economy.
Britain’s Africa Minister Rory Stewart, who became the first envoy to pay a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa, said his country was ready to strengthen its relations with Zimbabwe. —@pamelashumba1