(Last Updated on December 13, 2012 by CORRESPONDENT)
Zimbabwe-THE UNITED States of America has no interest in seeing President Robert Mugabe dead and accusations by Mugabe that there was a plot to kill him by Western nations are not true, newly-appointed US Ambassador to Zimbabwe David Bruce Wharton has said.
Wharton told members of the Bulawayo Press Club on Tuesday that his country had no policy to assassinate Mugabe or interfere in the country’s internal politics.
“That is not our policy and we would not do that. It is not our policy in Zimbabwe,” Wharton said.
“Let me be very clear: the United States wants a strong, stable, prosperous, just Zimbabwe. We are looking for ways to support that through healthy positive productive means, no other means,” he said.
Addressing Zanu PF delegates at the party’s conference in Gweru last weekend, Mugabe claimed he was being targeted by Western countries and also accused the US of wanting to interfere in the country’s internal matters.
“You can’t be afraid that you will be killed. How many have died? This is my country. I will die for it. A lot of others have died for it,” said Mugabe.
But on the contrary, the US envoy said the American government would support a Mugabe-led government should Zanu PF win in a free and fair election.
“If the elections are open and neutral and the people of Zimbabwe and Sadc, supposedly the monitoring teams, say these are good elections, yes, I think the United States would support a Mugabe government if it is elected,” he said.
Turning to Bulawayo Governor and Resident Minister Cain Mathema who refused to meet him during his visit to Zimbabwe’s second city, Wharton said Mathema’s actions were regrettable and unfortunate.
Mathema refused to meet Wharton saying he would only be able to entertain the envoy after the US government had lifted sanctions imposed on Zanu PF leaders.
“I regret that the governor was not willing to meet with me. I think I would have benefited from hearing his points of view and observations and I would like to think that if he and I had a conversation, we might find some grounds that we agreed upon. We might be able to do some things together. So I regret the fact that he was unable and unwilling to meet with me.”
The US diplomat dismissed as false the Zanu PF sanctions mantra.
“I was honoured to attend on Friday of last week the Zanu PF annual people’s conference and met with a large number of people there, some very important people, and I feel like I got a good conversation going with some influential members of that political party. So perhaps sometime in the future, if I am able to return to Bulawayo, the governor will be willing to meet with me.
“The United States has absolutely no quarrel with the people of Zimbabwe and we have not placed sanctions on the people of Zimbabwe. In fact, quite the opposite, we have provided
$1 billion worth of assistance to the people of Zimbabwe in the last 10 years. We have put restricted travel sanctions and some financial restrictions on a very small number of people in Zimbabwe and I think it is important not to confuse the great nation of Zimbabwe with this very small group of people who have these restrictions placed on them. ”