THE ruling Zanu PF party yesterday claimed that government efforts to intervene and stop Islamic insurgents in neighbouring Mozambique were being frustrated by economic sanctions imposed on Harare by Western countries.
BY Richard Muponde
Addressing journalists in Harare, Zanu PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa said Zimbabwe could have intervened in the Mozambique war, but was frustrated by sanctions which crippled its economy.
“If we had no sanctions and the country operating in a normal manner, the insurgency is Mozambique was a clear case on intervention by Zimbabwe,” Chinamasa said.
“But the sanctions have made us not intervene. We are then asking the United States President-elect Joe Biden to remove the sanctions which he co-authored, if he’s intelligent enough.”
Zimbabwe has been under US sanctions since 2001 over alleged gross human rights abuses which started during the late former President Robert Mugabe’s era.
“Do we have the capacity to challenge a superpower? How can Zimbabwe be a threat? We are said to be a hostile nation; even if we want to be hostile, we have no capacity to stand up to a superpower like the US. They should just do the honourable thing and remove their sanctions which they imposed on the country.”
Zimbabwe in the mid-1980s intervened in the Mozambican civil war after Renamo rebels led by the late Afonso Dhlakhama turned against former President Joachim Chissano.
The army was deployed to defend the Beira Corridor which hosts a fuel pipeline into Zimbabwe. The troops were only withdrawn 14 years later following a gruesome fight. Six year later, Zimbabwean troops again intervened in the Democratic Republic of Congo civil war, causing the local economy to