US Secretary of State Pompeo tells Mnangagwa to ‘choose different path’

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‘We stand with the people of Zimbabwe in the hope of a free, more prosperous Zimbabwe’

Mugabe death … US Secretary of State Pompeo says they will continue to support Zimbabweans’ push for an accountable government

WASHINGTON, United States – United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Saturday excoriated Robert Mugabe in death, accusing the former Zimbabwe president who died last Friday of “devastating a country with enormous potential.”

Pompeo, writing on Twitter, warned Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who seized power after Mugabe was ousted in a military coup in November 2017, to “choose a much different path”.

The United States imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001 after violent land invasions targeting white-owned farms.

Mugabe blamed the sanctions for ruining Zimbabwe’s economy, and Mnangagwa has not been able to heal the divisions with Washington because of repeated crackdowns on civilians by his security forces.

“During nearly four decades in power, Robert Mugabe devastated a country with enormous potential. He slaughtered political opponents in the 1980s, used security forces to abuse the opposition and civil society, enriched his family and inner circle through massive corruption and catastrophically mismanaged the economy, turning the region’s breadbasket into one where much of the population requires international food assistance,” Pompeo said.

“Zimbabweans have long deserved better and their leadership has an opportunity to set the country on a much different path.”

The United States would “continue to stand with the Zimbabwean people in their efforts to forge a better, more prosperous future,” America’s top diplomat added.

Tibor Nagy, the Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of African Affairs also used Mugabe’s death to send a message to Mnangagwa’s government to be “accountable to its citizens.”

“Today we note the death of Robert Mugabe. While he led Zimbabwe to independence, his legacy was tarnished by human rights abuses and poor governance. We stand with the people of Zimbabwe in the hope of a free, more prosperous Zimbabwe led by a government accountable to its citizens,” Nagy said on Twitter

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