Monday, February 19, 2018

AU chair trashes G40 claims

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THE political transition in Zimbabwe was done constitutionally and the African Union will fully support the new dispensation, the African Union Commission's chairperson Mr Moussa Faki said yesterday.

Mr Faki, who arrived in the country yesterday for a three-day visit, commended President Mnangagwa for opening up the political field ahead of harmonised elections this year.

This, he said, would ensure free and fair elections. He made the remarks after meeting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo and  Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Minister Mike Bimha.

He also trashed claims by G40 cabalists under the banner of New Patriotic Front that they had petitioned the AU to discredit the recent transition and President Mnangagwa. "I am visiting Zimbabwe in order to express the support and solidarity of the African Union to this great country of Africa," Mr Faki said.

"In fact, we highly appreciate the way that the transition has taken place and also according to the laws and constitution of the country. We have come at this period in order to consult with the Government on how to support Zimbabwe during this crucial period of transition. I want to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for the warm welcome that has been accorded to us and also the meeting we have had which has been very enriching."

He said President Mnangagwa was creating a level playing field for the forthcoming elections, a critical factor in the holding of credible elections. Said Mr Faki: "We also appreciate highly the way the President of the Republic and Government has opened up the political field so that there can be free, fair and credible elections that can be organised in the country."

"I have come here with the Commissioner in charge of political affairs (Minata Samate Cessouma) as well as a number of advisors and we have discussed and we shall continue to discuss issues of concern to Zimbabwe and the African Union. We shall be discussing with the President of the Republic to see how the African Union can support Zimbabwe in this period of transition as well as organisation of elections."

On the alleged G40 petition, Mr Faki said: "I am just learning from you now. I have not received any copy of the petition."

Mr Faki said the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West should be removed to ensure unhindered development.

"We are also aware of the fact that Zimbabwe has been subjected to nearly two decades of sanctions which have impacted on its situation," he said. "We are working with Government in order to see how these sanctions can be lifted."

Mr Faki is today expected to meet President Mnangagwa as well as pay a courtesy call on former President, Robert Mugabe.

He is also expected to meet the Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.

On the other hand, Mr Cessouma is expected to meet Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials today.