‘US ready to engage Zim’


UNITED States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton says his country is ready to normalise relations with Zimbabwe, but the engagement process would be determined by the way the new Zanu PF government implemented its policies.


Addressing Mutare journalists during a visit to the eastern border city yesterday, Wharton said he had already started the re-engagement process with the new Cabinet ministers.

“Normalisation of relations is the hope of both governments. My government is looking at many ways to normalise relations with Zimbabwe,” Wharton said.

“We had several high-level meetings last week with government officials. We are working to have Zimbabwe well-represented at the IMF (International Monetary Fund) meeting coming in October. We are open to engagement.

“It is important for us to see the type of policies they implement. The Foreign Affairs ministry has genuine intentions to work with us. President (Robert) Mugabe in his opening remarks of the Eighth Parliament said he wants to engage with everyone, even those countries deemed hostile. We hope to reciprocate that.”

The envoy, however, said for now his government would adopt a wait-and-see attitude until it got a clear picture of government policies, especially the indigenisation law. “We will see how they will implement policies, for example, how the indigenisation policy will be pursued. We will see whether it will be implemented as outlined in the Zanu PF manifesto or they will do it in the interest of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Wharton also defended his country’s stance on targeted sanctions against the Mugabe regime, saying the restrictive measures only targeted “just over 100 people who were making bad decisions for the country”.

He, however, acknowledged that there could be unintended effects of the targeted sanctions on the people of Zimbabwe, but said it would be good for those who make decisions for the country to review their policies and how they implemented them to have the embargo relaxed.

Wharton said his country had already started reviewing the sanctions as evidenced by the removal of some officials from the sanctions list early this year.

He said his office would, however, continue making humanitarian interventions in drought-stricken areas with small-scale banana and dairy farmers in Chipinge and Rusape having already benefited.

“We anticipate that 2,5 million people in Zimbabwe will need food assistance next year and we are working on areas to improve food security,” Wharton said.


  1. Bruce, enjoy your holiday in the sun. Sanctions are outside you area of influence and no one expects the US to remove them.

    First it was the election results, now it’s policy implementation. You imply that the party manifesto on empowerment and the interest of the people are not aligned. Consider this, if ZANU-PF implements the empowerment policy outside of the party manifesto, they would have hoodwinked the majority of the voters and they will have to face the wrath of the electorate next elections.T

  2. Lets turn a deaf ear to the Americans’ carrot and stick games and our thrust must be on ‘look east policy’. The USA conditions do not come with good intentions. World economic events are shifting easterly. Suddenly many a hostile state now want to engage in dialogue with Zim, imagine yesterday the EU lifted sactions on ZMDC and for whose benefit if l may ask genuinely. The speech by Bruce Wharton to the MDC is long overdue for they are myopic.

  3. Bruce…..diplomacy is a slippery eel, yu had to say something -toungue in cheek-and like the good servant of the foreign office yu are, yu said it, even when yu knew nobody was listening!.Dont worry,nobody heard yu. Yu are an excellent diplomat. Ours is a bilateral with the UK (whom yu fought for yo independence like we did.) Enjoy the sunshine, yu are on fully paid leave!


  5. they are now placing the condition of how we implement our own policies as a precondition for engagement. now if that is not interfering in the affairs of another state, then what is

  6. ZANU has boasted time and time again that the sanctions regime of the United States has had no effect on Zimbabwe. The same people mourn against sanctions which have “destryoyed” almost everything in Zimbabwe,including marriages of some of their officials. Which is which,comrades?

    • You don’t get it, no one ever said sanctions have no effect, it has always been the government’s position that sanctions have devastated the economy, even Mr. Tsvangirai and Mr. Biti called for their removal at one point. However, the sanctions have failed to collapse Zimbabwe and cause a change of government as intended. We are still standing in spite of them. On the other hand, the US has been denying that the sanctions are widespread as Brucie is saying here. It is one thing to declare that we don’t need the West and it is quite a another to call for the end of unfair practices by the West. FYI, Mugabi is in New Yorke right now!

  7. Americans should never lose sleep over the gukurahundi cries against the shopping sanctions.

    Whether they are lifted or not would not make a big difference to Zim’s economy, where it is a properly managed economy.

    They are making a big difference right now because the economy is badly managed – its gukurahundi looting and corruption all the way!!

  8. One thing l like Mugabe is his stance he never changes.since 1980 upto date so if there is n thing to re engage its the Americans n their cousins who should reform n re align their stance towards Zimbabwe we’ve rejected to be salienced by n one.we will indiginise like we did the land,roads need to be attended to so if we don’t have Community ownership trust were will the money come from? so 51/49 take it or leave us.

  9. walter do u actualy knw how sanctions have affected as ordinary Zimbabweans??????????. first t was elections and democracy, nw policies wch are going to be implemented………………….. shame on you.

  10. Shame shame shame we say to USA. Shame shame shame we say to Britain and its allies who have continued to impose illegal sanctions upon our people.(President Mugabe on UN Summit 26/09/2013).

  11. Shame on them indeed, even if they walked out of our President’s address the truth will remain the truth. According to the UN laws the sanctions are illegal. My issue with Americans is summed up in Brucie’s statement here:

    “We will see how they will implement policies, for example, how the indigenisation policy will be pursued. We will see whether it will be implemented as outlined in the Zanu PF manifesto or they will do it in the interest of the people of Zimbabwe,”

    Any fool can see the policies outlined in the ZANU PF Manifesto will benefit the people of Zimbabwe and it says so explicitly. In the past, the criticism to ZANU PF has been that they don’t do things according to what they say on paper; now the criticism is that ZANU PF is planning on doing things according to what they have on paper. But America will only normalise relations if ZANU PF modifies its manifesto to suit the interest of the real people of Zimbabwe (whites and the opposition) who pledge to protect the interests of Brucie’s bosses!

  12. zimbabwe a country of people who can read but not educated in the ways of the world. If looking EAST is so viable why are you bothering the WEST with your calls. There exists a world order and that you must accept. There is a reason why Zimbabwe is not part of the G 8 ,G20 or BRICS ,its testament to your abilities and influences …so while you gloat in rhetoric the rest of the world is moving on. Even China has relations with the West and the reason why China has a thriving econmy is that the Western Industries are driving it..Time to wake up people and see that Robert is taking you for a ride..riding on rhetoric to distract you from the carnage that he and his cabal have imposed on the nation…as for the paid agents here online…500 dollars is not much boys and girls…get out while you can!

  13. ‘just over a hundred pple who were making bad decisions for the country’,huh, are we a state of the US coz the last time i checked we were not. So why do they care about our bad decisions? I think we r a state but we just dont know it. Yes we r, we must be coz if we wasnt we wouldnt be using this green money! So if bad decisions attract restrictive measures George W Bush must be tied to his chair!. Isnt it? And a whole lot of Republicans and Democrats. Oh, oh, and Tsvangirai too God knows he has made a lot of bad decisions for this country.

  14. 100 bad decision makers in Zimbabwe, so let us punish the 12 000 000 with sanctions. By the way, the one on top of the EU and US travel ban has been to the USA many times and has visited the Vatican twice. Of course they will give you a smart answer that the Vatican is not part of the EU and the part of NY where the UN office is located is not really in the territory of the USA. Truth is the 100 are living well while millions suffer! These smart sanctions are just as effective as smart bombs that have never killed an innocent child, ever!

  15. Kodwa vele, why do the gukurahundis want to visit America, what for?

    Bayofunani kanti kweleMelika? Stay in your gukurahundi backyard and stop bothering the civilised world!!

    • @crispen phiri

      Wena crispen, how could the targeted sanctions have missed the target when the target is screaming in excrutiating pain every time they have an opportunity to tell who ever cares to listen at world platforms?

      You are wrong. Targeted shopping sanctions are indeed right on target, let them stay on target!!!

  16. Hey guys, its been a long day, the debate is about diplomacy…a very funny game of wit, played out on the global platform, one such platform is the UN, so Bob is championing the tenets of the Charter….equality of all nations, big or small. The world is listening..GUSHUNGO is the man of the moment….nobody in that august gathering matches his experience and diplomatic astuteness.

  17. This time when we act, everyone will know why. Off to the East for investors in our export focused industrial revival strategy.

  18. Walter and Farai you fools, America does not need Zimbabwe ( ITS THE SICK PEOPLE WHO NEED A DOCTOR) Stop talking about America, go to zhingzhong-China and get help to counter-act the sanctions.

  19. An educated fool indeed, America does not need Zimbabwe on that you are correct. That is not the point and has never been. In a preamble to ZIDERA Americans state categorically, Zimbabwe presents a clear and present danger to American INTERESTS. A threat with global significance if one factors the contagion effect of ZANU-PF policies of democratizing land ownership and resource ownership.
    The current dominant world order is based on 1% owning and using 99% of the world’s resources. Zimbabwe’s attempt to change this order is somewhat similar to the objectives of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Considerable resources will be deployed to crush us. I believe we should stop trying to convince them about the immorality and injustice of their actions. They know and they don’t care. The end objective justifies the means. We have to sever that which makes them have such a strong hold on our lives.

  20. @democratizing land ownership? Perhaps this statement should maybe come after the land audit because as presently constituted there is very little to crow about around land reform..I say this because what is democratic about a few select individuals owning 14 farms each and so on? Clean up the land reform and lets get on with the one man one farm policy and then and only then will land reform make sense.

  21. Government policy on land reform is very clear. Whoever has 14 farms is obviously not conforming to stated policy. If such a case is true, it will self correct in due time. Expecting a perfect result at the end a bitter struggle is overly optimistic and subscribes to a theoretical belief in all man being honest and trust worthy. Maybe only in heaven!

  22. @Falcon, Government policy on land reform is very clear. Whoever has 14 farms is obviously not conforming to stated policy. If such a case is true, it will self correct in due time. Expecting a perfect result at the end a bitter struggle is overly optimistic and subscribes to a theoretical belief in all man being honest and trust worthy. Maybe only in heaven!

Comments are closed.