Tuesday, 2 August 2016


United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Harry Thomas said President Robert Mugabe’s claims that the West is meddling in local politics are not true, adding that America has actually increased aid to the southern African nation.

Mugabe has accused foreign embassies of backing the protests against him that rocked Harare recently. The American envoy, however, said Washington remains committed to Zimbabwe and was unfazed by the accusations.

“I think all serious people would know that is not true,” Thomas said on Saturday.
“On Friday, President (Barack) Obama announced another $41 million dollars in aid to Zimbabwe. You can’t let name-calling affect your ability to help people who are food insecure,” he added.

Apart from the United States, 92-year-old Mugabe’s allies have also blamed France for being the “third force” behind the anti-Mugabe campaigns, something Zimbabweans have taken as an insult to their intelligence.

Thomas said he respected free speech in whatever form it comes in as it was enshrined in both the Zimbabwean Constitution as well as the American.

“We believe in free speech, anybody can say what they like without fear of reprisal whether they are in Zimbabwe or the United States. The Zimbabwean Constitution of 2013 and the American Constitution guarantee free speech,” he said.

Despite the protests, social and economic upheaval, Thomas told the Daily News that America was “proudly” Zimbabwe’s donor.

“I would just like to say the United States is proud to be the largest donor to Zimbabwe. There is a $138 million President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief. We are giving $130 million in food aid for food insecurity. In the next few months, we will be feeding one million of the 4,8 million Zimbabweans who are food insecure.

“We give $10 million to civil society organisations to help make them sustainable and help other Zimbabweans across the breadth and depth this nation.

“So while everybody has their opinion, I am very pleased that we do all of these things and I am sure you will that they are only two large cranes in Harare now, and one of them is our embassy that going up on a $180 million project. 700 Zimbabweans work there on a daily basis in all types from labourers, to architects to surveyors and there’s $32 million going to their families in salaries in US dollars and they will continue to be paid in US dollars as they continue to work for  us. I think that shows our commitment to the Zimbabwean people,” Thomas said. Daily news


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