Kagame takes battle to G7

Zimbabwe scored a major diplomatic victory in its anti-sanctions lobby when Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame recently told the leaders of the world’s economic powerhouse, the Group of Seven (G7) at their France Summit, to end the illegal embargo.

The G7 consists of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Canada.

President Kagame was at the G7 Summit as a special invitee in his capacity as immediate past Chairperson of the African Union.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and President Kagame met for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development summit in Japan, where the latter disclosed what had occurred at the G7 Summit.

President Mnangagwa said, “In particular, with President Kagame, we were discussing strategies to deal with the question of sanctions. At the last Sadc meeting in Dar es Salaam, Sadc made a resolution that, we must together appeal to AU, so that when AU goes to the United Nations, they speak about the removal of sanctions.

“Sadc secretariat must also again appeal for the removal of sanctions. But individual African countries, such as Kagame’s Rwanda, they are lobbying. They did lobby for Zimbabwe during the G7 meeting. President Kagame attended the G7 meeting and he was able to meet with the G7 leaders and he pleaded with them over removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe.

“These are the areas we were discussing and the possibilities of success and attitudes of every single leader in G7 and how they look at Zimbabwe.”

President Mnangagwa also told Japanese media that Zimbabwe would continue the international fight against sanctions, which had choked the country’s access to international lending.

He said, “Zidera constrains us. For the past 20 years, we cannot access support from the IMF, World Bank, IFIs (international finance institutions). Those Bretton Woods institutions cannot extend any lines of credit to Zimbabwe. So, we are surviving through our own domestic means. We are doing our best. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and blame the Bretton Woods institutions for not giving us credit.”

The anti-sanctions lobby continues to gain traction, as Sadc leaders recently resolved to reserve October 25 2019 as a day when the 16-member states would conduct activities to jointly call for the “immediate” lifting of the embargo.

The position was communicated at the regional body’s 39th Ordinary Summit of the Sadc Heads of State and Government in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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