Mugabe fears sanctions likely to stay

President Robert Mugabe today admitted that sanctions imposed on him and his inner cabal are likely to stay following the July 31 elections which has since been condemned by Western nations.

The west imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his lieutenants in 2002 at the height of human rights abuses in the country.

The countries have since said that credible elections are a pre-requisite for the removal of the measures.

Mugabe won the just ended elections by 61 percent against MDC-T President, Morgan Tsvangirai’s 34 percent and the former has since dismissed the elections as a farce.

Mugabe made the remarks at the National Sports Stadium in Harare during his inauguration which was attended by various African heads of states. About 45, 000 people attended the event.

“If yesterday the pretext of imposing those sanctions was to do with a deficiency of democracy here, today we ask those culprit nations what their excuses are now. We have been under sanctions for a decade and three years. Most likely, we shall remain under these sanctions for much longer.

“But we have held our own. Our will has been our principal resource,” said Mugabe.

He said Zimbabwe would make maximum use of its mineral resources to fight the effects of sanctions on the economy.

He, however, admitted that the mining sector was yet to significantly contribute to the growth of the country’s economy.

“The mining sector will be the centre piece of our economic recovery and growth. It should generate spurts across sectors and reignite that economic miracle which must now happen. The sector has shown unanimous potential but we are far from seeing its optimum,” said Mugabe.

He said Zanu (PF) would be intensifying its Look East policy as well as a way of aiding the growth of the country’s economy.

Mugabe blasted western nations for their condemnation of Zimbabwe’s just ended elections while thanking African states for endorsing the polls.

“As for those odd western nations who happen to hold a different and negative view of our electoral process and outcome, well, there is not much we can do about them,” he said.

Mugabe said Zanu (PF) would be intensifying the indeginisation policy which compels foreign owned firms with a minimum shareholding of at least $500, 000 to cede 51 percent of their shareholding to locals.

The policy has come under fire from analysts who have said that it scares away potential investors.

“The time has now come to extend our dominion to all those resources which the Almighty has been so generous enough to give,” he said.

Mugabe said the tenure of the inclusive government had resulted in a slump in agricultural productivity and pledged to work towards rebuilding the sector.

He promised to look into “pressing social service challenges” such as the issue of water, health facilities and infrastructure building.

He bemoaned the death of the manufacturing sector in Zimbabwe, saying the development, which has seen inferior products coming into the country, had resulted in Zimbabwe being turned into a dumping ground by foreign countries.

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