The two sides to the Mnangagwa-Nagy meeting in Maputo


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Zimbabwe has hailed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s meeting with United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy in Maputo yesterday calling it a milestone in restoring relations between Harare and Washington but Nagy seemed to have a totally different view saying he pressed Harare for political reforms.

According to the Herald, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, who attended the meeting on the sidelines of the US-Africa business summit in the Mozambican capital, said the two were beginning to find common ground.

“I think we are beginning to find common ground, step-by-step, so basically His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) was able to share with him, Mr Nagy, the progress that we are making on legislative reforms, the progress that we are making on economic reforms through the TSP (Transitional Stabilisation Programme),” Ncube was quoted by the Herald as saying.

“We were also able to thank him and the United States for supporting Zimbabwe directly, giving us financial support regarding the Cyclone, but also the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) encouragement to support Zimbabwe at that level.

“So, we really had a wonderful discussion, but also His Excellency was able to convey to American companies that; ‘Zimbabwe is open for them, we are open for business’.”

The Finance Minister said Zimbabwe, which has hired two lobbying firms in the United States at a cost of US$2 million, is keen to engage freely with the United States which imposed sanctions on Harare in 2003.

The sanctions were renewed for another year in March.

One of Zimbabwe’s staunchest critics Todd Moss yesterday warned US citizens attending the summit that they were barred from meeting any Zimbabwean on the US sanctions list.

According to the Herald, Nagy was coy to discuss details of the meeting but he tweeted: “I met with Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa today. I stressed the urgent need to hold security forces accountable for acts of violence committed against Zimbabweans including in August 2018 and January/February 2019 and the importance of real political and economic reforms.”

A shadowy group Team Pachedu has asked the International Criminal Court to arrest Mnangagwa over the 1 August killings but Zimbabwe is not a member of the ICC.

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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