Chief begs US to remove sanctions

A LOCAL traditional leader in Masvingo on Tuesday took advantage of the signing ceremony of the Great Zimbabwe Preservation Project — where the United States donated $475 000 — to beg the superpower to remove sanctions on Zimbabwe.

BY TATENDA CHITAGU

Chief Murinye, who had been asked to give a vote of thanks after the donation made through US ambassador Brian Nichols, appealed to the diplomat to inform President Donald Trump to lift the economic embargo on Zimbabwe.

“I thank you for the donation. The monuments fall under my jurisdiction and it is my ancestors who built it. However, I beg you to go and tell President Trump to remove sanctions on Zimbabwe,” he said.

During the ceremony earlier on, Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira had also said if the US was really sincere with Zimbabwe, then it should make wholesale concessions.

“Let us be guided by the desire for our two countries to create a better world for our people. This is the environment which will make our monuments safe and protected. In the event that we disagree on other issues, let us be guided by this medical principle: you can cut a limb to save life. You cannot take away life to save a limp. May your assistance to the Great Zimbabwe monuments today be symbolic of broader participation by the US in the realisation of the President of Zimbabwe’s vision of making our country an upper middle economy by 2030,” Chadzamira said.

Nichols, in his speech had, however, reiterated that the US was committed to assisting Zimbabwe.

“Our presence in Zimbabwe continues to be a sign of the American people’s friendship and commitment to Zimbabwe. We are also building a new embassy modelled on the great Zimbabwe monuments. Our project has injected more than $14 million into the Zimbabwean economy and employed 1 200 locals. We have an unwavering commitment to the people and culture of Zimbabwe and the friendship between our two peoples,” Nichols said.

World Monuments Fund programme director for sub-Saharan Africa Stephen Battle, said he was grateful for the trust bestowed on them by the country to preserve the site.

“We are grateful for the US embassy and the people of the US for the generous support for this project. I would also like to thank the people of Zimbabwe for the trust they placed in us to carry out this project. We understand the significance of the Great Zimbabwe Monuments for the people of Zimbabwe, and I pledge it will be treated with the care and respect it deserves,” he said.