United States of America President Donald Trump told journalists on Friday that his government was “looking at Zimbabwe right now”.
Trump remarked after a reporter had asked him a question on his administration’s Africa policy and sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
The reporter, who asked a question while Trump was fielding questions from journalists outside the White House, said:
… the President of Zimbabwe, he said because of the sanctions that the US imposed on Zimbabwe they cannot… it would be hard to work with you guys.
Trump’s brief response, “We’re looking at Zimbabwe right now”, to a detailed question showed that he knew very little about Zimbabwe, reporter Aaron Ruper suggested.
Writing on microblogging site Twitter, Ruper, who posted the clip on Twitter, said:
This is classic. A foreign reporter asks Trump a detailed question about his Africa policy in general and Zimbabwe specifically.
Trump’s response? ‘We’re looking at Zimbabwe right now.’ That’s it. He then moves on as quickly as possible. He’s incapable of discussing policy.
He has no idea what Zimbabwe is.
Zimbabwe and the US’s relations have been frosty since the turn of the Millenium. America imposed sanctions against the government of the then President Robert Mugabe.
The sanctions have been renewed every year ever since they were imposed in 2001.
Last year, Trump signed into law the revised Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act (ZIDERA) of 2018 (S 2779) which sets out conditions Zimbabwe has to meet before the sanctions are lifted.
The conditions include the holding of credible elections, restoration of the rule of law and to ensure that the military is subordinate to civilians. It’s doubtful if the Zimbabwe government has been able to meet any of the three conditions.