The Sunday Mail
The United States stands ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe in case of a drought precipitated by the unpredictable rainfall pattern likely to affect the 2019-2020 agricultural season.
This was said by the United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Brian Andrew Nichols today after he paid a courteous call on acting President Dr Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa offices.
Mr Nichols said once cooperation modalities are in place, they will provide the needed assistance.
“We are the leading donor to Zimbabwe. During the Cyclone Idai and drought last year, we provided over US$110 million in assistance,” he said.
“We are waiting for detailed information from the Government of Zimbabwe so that we can start our cooperation for 2020.
“We stand with the people of Zimbabwe always and we will cooperate so as to ensure that the challenges of hunger are met in this country.”
He said part of his discussions with the acting President included governance issues as well as dialogue amongst Zimbabweans.
“We talked about issues of constitutional alignment, human rights, the reform agenda, the Government and stressed the importance of Zimbabwe moving forward in that area.
“We talked about the issue of national dialogue, national dialogue is something that we brought. An inclusive dialogue brings all Zimbabweans together to find a way forward out of the challenges this country is facing,” he said.
President Mnangagwa and his Government has already opened up for dialogue with all the opposition parties in the country.
Sadly, one of the opposition parties MDC-Alliance led by Mr Nelson Chamisa is refusing to join the dialogue setting unrealistic conditions.
On sanctions, Mr Nichols said he hopes Zimbabwe will meet the necessary conditions set for the removal of the embargo.
In 2019, the United States provided US$370, 3 million in assistance to Zimbabwe predominantly in the areas of health, food security and emergency assistance.
This includes US$177,7 million in health, US$167,6 million in food security and US$10,6 million to Cyclone Idai victims among other different type of assistance.
Meanwhile relations between Zimbabwe and Nigeria are set to go a gear up through increased economic cooperation.
This was said by out-going Nigerian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Janet Bessong Odeka after she paid a courtesy call on acting President Chiwenga.
She is completing her two-year tour of duty in the county.
“We discussed about upgrading relations between Nigeria and Zimbabwe to higher levels which is of course the economic level,” she said.
“During my tenure here, we had some high level visits from Defence and Security. The Defence section moved from Zimbabwe years ago but right now they are moving back to Zimbabwe at any moment from now.”