Western sanctions will not destroy Zimbabwe: Mugabe
Baku-APA.Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said Wednesday that Zimbabwe will not be destroyed by Western sanctions and will rely on its natural resources and friendly countries for survival, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
Mugabe made the remarks during a press conference soon after swearing in new cabinet ministers for another five-year adding to his 33-year rule of the southern African country.
“Zimbabwe will never fall. Yes, they (sanctions) can be an impediment but we will find ways to make progress. We have friends who want to work with us,” he said.
The West led by Britain and the United States has maintained sanctions on Zimbabwe since the early 2000s and it recently said it will not lift the sanctions because the July 31 elections that were won by Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party were flawed.
Mugabe’s party said the decade-long sanctions have cost the economy several billions of dollars.
The president said his government will forge ahead with the indigenization drive under which foreign companies must cede 51 percent shareholding to locals.
He reiterated that Zimbabwe will not pay for its natural resources when it gets into joint ventures with foreign companies.
Zimbabwe has significant reserves of platinum, chrome, diamond, coal and iron ore. South African and Chinese mining firms lead the foreign corps that operate in Zimbabwe’s booming mining sector.
Mugabe said the country’s natural resources were much more important than foreign capital. He said the Western economic theory that preaches the importance of capital over resources was wrong.
“Our natural resources matters much more than your capital. Your digging of the mineral resources does not make you owners of our natural resources,” he said.
The president said the new government will work to improve the productive sectors of the economy as well as transport and communication infrastructure so that they become enablers of industry.
Financial sector will also be looked at so that banks effectively play their role in the economy that includes adequately supporting the agricultural sector.
“Interest rates must come down to levels that are affordable but we also must ensure that the financial institutions are liquid enough,” he said.
Meanwhile, the president said while he appreciated the need for Zimbabweans to work together, he found it difficult to accommodate opposition members in his new cabinet because of their negative attitude.
“I would have expected the opposition to say ah, we have lost and we accept defeat but we are prepared to work together. No, they did not do that,” he said.
The main opposition party led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai refused to accept Mugabe win alleging vote fraud.
Tsvangirai’s party was in a four-year coalition government with Mugabe’s Zanu-PF prior to the July 31 elections.