THE speech by the new ambassador to Zimbabwe Harry K Thomas Junior after presenting his credentials to President Robert Mugabe was promising. Promising because it focused on the democratic future of Zimbabwe. It looked at the people’s future or welfare and was not meant to please the rogue, corrupt Zanu PF-led government. Unlike other countries which base their relationship on pleasing the ruling party by getting one-sided business deals which benefit the so-called all-weather friends and are detrimental to the upliftment of people out of poverty, America remains a true friend of the Zimbabwean people amid Zanu PF criticism.
By Pardon Maguta,Our Reader
The truth is, despite the acrimonious diplomatic relationship between the Zanu PF-led government and the US administration, Washington has stood firm by the people of Zimbabwe. In spite of the targeted verbal assault by Mugabe to the US, we remain a firm beneficiary of US aid. A lot of students are studying in the US courtesy of US ambassador’s scholarship, Pepfar is helping us fight the HIV and Aids scourge, food aid through non-governmental organisations is assisting us stop severe malnutrition, and help in our agriculture has been instrumental in the development of small irrigation schemes. The list is endless. We hope these programmes will continue.
The fact that Thomas Junior said he will speak if human rights violations continue during his tenure of office means he has a lot of work ahead of him. Like his predecessors he will work 24/7.
There are issues of partisan distribution of food aid by State officials and traditional leaders amid a devastating drought and famine, frightening intra-party violence in Zanu PF itself which is threatening to turn this country upside down, outright disregard of the right to property, for example, demolition of houses without court orders, denial of freedom of expression through demonstration. There is never a legal demonstration except if it is being carried out by Zanu PF activists. Basic needs like shelter, medicine, food, water and many more socio-economic rights are now a luxury. In a nutshell, these are some of the issues Thomas Junior is going to be seized with.
So it is in the middle of such a dangerous situation that the new ambassador starts his work. The importance of the US intervention can not be ignored as it remains a powerful country in the world. Ordinary people look forward to hearing your voice like what you said in your acceptance speech. Evil prevails when good people say nothing. The stability of the southern African region and our country remains a priority and should also be of importance to the US.
A stable,democratic, prosperous,peaceful free-from-want Zimbabwe can also help stabilise the world order.Ambassador Thomas Junior has such a vision.The US has such a vision.Zimbabweans also share that vision. Such a vision is attainable if the US and other countries keep on pressing and talking of the need for democratic reform in Zimbabwe. It happened in Burma after decades of military rule and we can not be an exception.But as we are right now, we also remain a threat to world peace because of our fragility. We hope the new ambassador will be able to leave a lasting mark by the time he finishes his term of office. Welcome to Zimbabwe ambassador.