Author: HILDA MHAGAMA
AfricaPress-Tanzania: ZIMBABWE’S President Emmerson Mnangagwa has expressed gratitude to Tanzania, for leading the call to lift international sanctions against his country.
The sanctions, imposed over alleged human- rights abuses during the reign of former President Robert Mugabe, who was removed from power in 2017, are still in place despite a democratic change of leadership.
Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony of Dr John Magufuli for his second fiveyear term in office at the Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, President Mnangagwa said Tanzania played a big role throughout its chairmanship of the South African Development Community (SADC) by prioritising efforts to push the international community to lift the sanctions against Zimbabwe.
“We are also grateful because it was during that time when SADC countries declared October 25 as solidarity day against illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and resolved to conduct various activities in their respective countries on that day to resoundingly call for the immediate removal of the sanctions,” he noted.
Mr Mnangagwa said they will never apologise for taking their land back, insisting that they are happy Tanzania supports them and leading SADC in the fight to ensure the sanctions are removed.
The European Union (EU) imposed the sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002, citing issues like harassment of independent media and intimidation of political opponents.
The sanctions include an international arms embargo, wide-ranging assets freeze and a travel ban on Mugabeera government officials to EU countries.
The sanctions affect most leaders of the ruling party ZANU-PF, top military figures and some government-owned firms.
The EU’s decision later received the backing of the US, and earlier this year, President Donald Trump extended them by another year, despite President Mnangagwa taking over as leader of Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa said relations between Zimbabwe and Tanzania date back to many years of friendship and cordial relations.
He said Tanzania supported Zimbabwe from the early 1960s, when the liberation struggle started in Zimbabwe by hosting the liberation movements of Zanu PF and other movements in SADC.
“Tanzania is the bedrock in our region of Pan Africanism and we are doing our best to follow the footsteps of our founding fathers the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. We regard Tanzania as a mother and father of our freedom,” said Mnangagwa.
He added, “We are also very grateful that Dr Magufuli paid us a state visit in 2019 and during severe drought, Tanzania and Uganda offered us maize, these are patriotic leaders in this region,” Vice-President of Botswana, Slumber Tsogwane also conveyed the congratulatory message to Dr Magufuli for his re-election.
“Africa has a long history and some of the things are touching, we all know great leaders of this continent such as Mwalimu Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi. We still thank them most profoundly for leading this continent as well as forming the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM),” said Mr Tsogwane Earlier, Comoros President Azali Assoumani congratulated President Magufuli for his victory and Tanzanians for finishing the elections peacefully.