THE Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches Council (Zacc) leadership on Friday met with the United States representatives as part of its ongoing push to have western countries lift sanctions against President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government.
Friday’s meeting followed a similar gathering with United Kingdom officials two weeks ago where the church grouping ramped up its anti-sanctions drive.
“We met the US embassy officials on Friday in Harare. They said President Mnangagwa’s government is on the right track in as far as implementing reforms is concerned.
“However, they said sanctions are targeted on individuals, but we said to them sanctions are affecting all Zimbabweans.
“Two weeks ago, we also met representatives from the British embassy and we told them how sanctions are affecting the people of Zimbabwe. We are going to continue with our engagements with western embassies,” Zacc patron, Jimayi Muduvuri told the Daily News in an interview at the weekend.
“All sanctions should be removed and we have taken appropriate measures to make sure that our story as Zimbabweans is heard from a church perspective.
“Maybe when politicians talk they are not taken seriously but as the church we spend most of the time with the people… and it is clear that sanctions are hurting them.
“We pray that these sanctions are removed so that Zimbabwe can develop to its full potential,” Muduvuri added.
The United States last month renewed its targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe for another year – accusing Mnangagwa and his government of not doing much to improve Harare’s democratic credentials since former president Robert Mugabe fell from power in November 2017. More on ZOOMZimbabwe… DOWNLOAD PDF: Contract between Zimbabwe Govt and lobby firm Ballard & Partners
Mnangagwa’s under pressure government has since hired a top American reputation management firm – to spruce up Zimbabwe’s international image and to lobby President Donald Trump’s government in a bid to improve frosty relations between Harare and Washington.
The public relations company which has been contracted by Zimbabwe, Ballard Partners, is headed by prominent Washington lobbyist Brian Ballard – who is also said to be a top fundraiser for Trump’s political campaigns.
According to the details of the contract between Harare and Ballard Partners, which was recently signed by Foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo, the government will pay the American firm a whopping US$500 000 a year for its services.