Zimbabwe: Trump Must Be Given a Chance Indeed

EDITORIAL

IT has taken more than a month since the swearing in of the United States of America’s 45th president Donald J. Trump, for President Mugabe to make his views known about the US leader, as we report elsewhere in this issue. Speaking in an interview to mark his 93rd birthday anniversary, President Mugabe said like most people around the world, he was surprised by Trump’s election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but said we should not be quick to judge and think that when it comes to Zimbabwe, he would walk the beaten path used by Bush and Obama.

Thus he said Trump should be given time and an opportunity to prove himself.

President Mugabe said this in view of the fact that Trump has so far not articulated his policy towards Zimbabwe, let alone Africa. Last week, there were reports that he held teleconferences with South African President Jacob Zuma, and his Nigerian counterpart Muhammad Buhari.

From a policy perspective, nothing much was said, although Trump said he looked forward to having fruitful bilateral relations with the two major economies on the continent.

In short, President Mugabe was telling everyone to be patient, and give Trump a chance. He could not castigate him, when he knew that he has not done anything yet against Zimbabwe, despite the spoilers who are itching to turn him against Zimbabwe.

This cautious optimism is coming from a leader who walked a similar road as Trump, despite the different circumstances.

When he became Prime Minister in 1980, President Mugabe faced a daunting task, just like Trump is. Coming from a protracted liberation struggle, there were claims that he would never manage to lead the country the way the Rhodesians had done, just because he is black.

His ideological thrust – Marxism/Leninism were also cited as impediments to good governance, as his detractors said he would turn Zimbabwe into a Communist one-party state.

To add insult to injury, and give his enemies more fire to attack him, none of the members of his cabinet had experience in public administration and governance, but he was patient, and put in place measures to ensure that he proved his detractors wrong.

What is surprising is that 37 years on, the very people who said he would not manage, have not changed tact, with some becoming cheerleaders of the illegal regime change agenda.

So much has been said about Trump, because he has never been part of the Washington bureaucracy. He became the billionaire-turned president because his motive was to correct that which he thought was wrong with successive US administrations. And most of it has not endeared to people.

No one expected him to win, but now that Trump is in the White House, Zimbabwe can speak, considering that the best “gift” Obama decided to give to Zimbabwe was an extension of the illegal sanctions regime imposed in 2001. Obama did the same with countries like Russia.

As Trump learns the ropes of governing (not big business, but the nation), falling and rising at the same time, we believe that it is about time that he also reverses some of the destructive and inhuman policies against Zimbabwe put in place by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. This is why President Mugabe expressed hope that “Mr Trump may even re-look the sanctions on Zimbabwe.”

It is about time that such a positive comes from Trump, despite the shortcomings that are being blown out of proportion because it is a hostile liberal media that wanted Hillary Clinton in the White House.

We say so, because since his election, we have seen how exasperated he is sometimes, as there seems to be a world against Trump agenda, with some of the criticism coming from his own party — the Republicans.

We believe that during his first 100 days, as he puts his cabinet in place, Mr Trump will also put a number of issues in proper perspective.

And for Zimbabweans, it is the repealing of the illegal sanctions regime that has pauperised ordinary people.

Previous administrations have tried to sanitise the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, by calling them targeted sanctions.

What manner of “targeted sanctions” allow one sovereign nation to put pressure on another sovereign State, by ensuring that lines of credit are closed to it? Meanwhile, the US owes trillions!

The Bush and Obama administrations have claimed that they are doing it for the people of Zimbabwe, because Zanu-PF was not adhering to democratic principles, but when Zimbabwe loses more than $42 billion, are these actions pro-people?

We all are still learning who President Trump is, but his America first call, gives hope to nationalists the world over, for nationalism is the bedrock of Zimbabwe.

And, President Mugabe summed it up so well: “But anyway, when it comes to Donald Trump, on the one hand talking of American nationalism, well America for America, America for Americans — on that we agree. Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans.”

If Trump is promising to undo some of the so-called favourite Obama policies, including the affordable healthcare programme – Obamacare, is ZDERA too much?

It is time Zimbabwe enters the marketplace, not because certain world leaders gives it the nod, but because it has the capability to do so. Zimbabwe has natural resources and a promising human resource base, which should make it a major player in bilateral and multi-lateral trade with big and small nations, alike.

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