- ‘Zanu PF stands by Tagwirei, Sakunda
Zanu PF has castigated the United States for listing businessman Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei and his company Sakunda Holdings on the sanctions list saying there was no justification for doing so.
In a statement, the ruling party’s acting secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Patrick Chinamasa said until proven otherwise, Zanu PF would continue to stand by Mr Tagwirei and his businesses.
Said Cde Chinamasa: “Since the Zanu PF Government embarked on the Land Reform and Redistribution Programme in 2000, Zimbabwe has been wilting under the yoke of USA sanctions whose main objective has been, to quote former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Mr Chester Crocker, “to make the economy of Zimbabwe scream and to separate Zanu PF from the people to achieve an illegal regime change.
“As such, these sanctions have targeted pillars of our political economy to reverse the land redistribution programme as the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) succeeded in doing the same in Guatemala from 1951 when they toppled the legitimately elected President Juan Jacobo Arbenz Guzman who had embarked on a Land Reform exercise.”
Cde Chinamasa, however, said the sanctions did not come as a surprise as they follow sustained attacks on President Mnangagwa, members of the First Family, Government and Zanu PF.
He said the ruling party was at a loss to understand the geopolitical reasons motivating a global superpower like the USA to descend on a small country like Zimbabwe with a “sledgehammer” based on falsehoods.
The allegations forming the basis of the sanctions decision by the USA were false and meant to punish Sakunda Holdings for winning contracts in the Dema Diesel Power Project and the Command Agriculture ahead of American-backed companies.
“Zanu PF is indeed perplexed that one of the basis for imposing the OFAC sanctions on the entities is the Dema Diesel Power Project which was undertaken and intended by the Government to address in the shortest possible time, intermittent power shortages wreaking havoc in our economy and thereby disrupting production across all sectors in the economy,” he said.
“The world needs to be told that the real concern of the USA concerning the Dema Diesel Power Project is not about any alleged corruption, but the failure to win the contract by a USA backed company, APR Energy.
“On the issue of Command Agriculture, again, the USA has conveniently chosen to act based on falsehoods such as the allegations that Mr Tagwirei and Sakunda Holdings defrauded the Government under the very successful Command Agriculture Scheme initiated and funded by the Government to ensure the success of the land reform programme.”
Cde Chinamasa said the Command Agriculture Programme was one of the many schemes introduced by the Zanu PF Government to assist farmers.
He said allegations against Mr Tagwirei and Sakunda Holdings have been deliberated upon by the Public Accounts Committee of Zimbabwe’s Parliament, chaired by Mr Tendai Biti, who, along with MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, are perennial honoured guests of the chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee of the USA Senate, Senator Jeff Flake.
“Their missions in visiting Washington are always to plead for the extension, continuation of and intensification of USA sanctions against themselves and the Zimbabwean people,” he said.
“During the Public Accounts Committee Hearing chaired by Mr Biti, Sakunda Holdings placed before the committee, all documentation of all transactions on Command Agriculture and successfully demonstrated that the allegations of corruption were false, fake, fabricated and malicious including allegations that they had received US$3 billion from the Government. “If Mr Biti was man enough, he would have reported that to senator Flake, having observed that Mr Biti feels obligated to be accountable to the USA.”
Cde Chinamasa called upon the United States to respect Zimbabwe as an independent and sovereign country.
He said Zanu PF called upon the 4 000 regime change Non-Governmental Organisations sponsored by the USA and its allies in Zimbabwe to come forward with evidence concerning abuse of the Command Agriculture facility and bring it to the attention of law enforcement agents.
“Zanu PF urges its Government to continue on the path of reforms, engagement and re-engagement, but the policy of engagement and re-engagement should never be misread as a policy of capitulation and appeasement,” said Cde Chinamasa.
“President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement is to build bridges between nations.
“Similarly, any reforms carried out by the ZANU PF Government must be understood that they are primarily to meet and serve the interests of our people and not to be misconstrued as a conditionality for engaging and re-engaging any country.
“Let’s rally in unity behind our President, Cde ED Mnangagwa in transforming our economy towards the realisation of the President’s 2030 Vision to make this country an upper-middle-income economy.” State Media