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Kenyan President disappoints Zim’s anti-sanctions brigade



KENYAN President William Ruto this Saturday stayed clear of highly denouncing the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West, choosing to harp on about the country’s economic potential should the southern African nation properly manage its natural resources and run the economy properly.


In his maiden speech to the United Nations in September 2022, Ruto described the sanctions on Zimbabwe as “coercive actions” — a move that saw him being ranked as one of the anti-Zimbabwe sanctions brigade members alongside South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi, among others.

Expectations within the corridors of power were high that Ruto would once again repeat his anti-Zimbabwe sanctions war cry, especially at a time when the United States has maintained its grip on Zimbabwe through the retention of the sanctions embargo against President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his inner circle, and a few companies linked to the Zanu PF strongman.

“There might never be a more opportune time to revisit the practice of unilateral coercive actions, which often violate fundamental tenets of a rule-based international order, such as those imposed on Zimbabwe and Cuba,” Ruto said, then, in his inaugural speech to the United Nations.

He added: “Apart from undermining the sovereign equality of nations, they also indiscriminately punish the general citizenry, reserving their bitterest sting for innocent hustlers and the vulnerable.

“This compounds injustice and worsens suffering.”

But on Saturday morning while officially opening the 64th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo, the Kenyan leader focused his speech on Zimbabwe’s economic prospects predicated on the sound management of natural resources and the newly introduced Zimbabwe Gold currency, describing it as the right tonic towards a successful economy.

“One thing that has been difficult to ignore from the moment we stepped onto Zimbabwean soil is the unmistaken energy of a country going places, a people facing forward, and a nation entering a new chapter in its development history,” Ruto said.

He added that while Zimbabwe’s economy has been battered by a combination of factors, it was prudent for Zimbabwe to enhance agricultural productivity and achieve food self-sufficiency.

“As a result of your government’s policy of agricultural revitalisation by which it invests in the provision of access to agricultural inputs, technology and markets, together with the strategy of assisting farmers to enhance agricultural productivity and achieve food self-sufficiency, the seeds of transformation have been sown in Zimbabwean farmlands.

“…Its first fruits will be a major uplift in livelihoods across the country leading to rural wealth and employment creation. Afterwards, the maturing of the agro-industrial value chains will attract investment into expansion in the manufacturing (sector) and growth in exports resulting in even more jobs and more wealth for the people of Zimbabwe,” Ruto said.

Ruto also said he believed that the new Zimbabwe Gold currency introduced by the central bank at the beginning of the month could usher in a new era of a sustainable economy as the currency is backed by mineral resources.

“This radical re-vitalisation of Zimbabwe’s monetary policy will contribute greatly to the country’s economic resurgence. Taken together, these bold decisions by the government of Zimbabwe constitute a bold economic recovery, revitalisation, and reform agenda based on a coherent and ambitious vision to steer the nation’s prosperity and sustainability in a context where you have daunting challenges. This is courageous, brave, and visionary,” said the Kenyan leader.

Turning to mineral resources, Ruto said the reserves that the country has should be managed in such a way that they would immensely benefit the country.

This statement comes as Zimbabwe is faced with immense challenges in addressing the leakages of minerals through the country’s porous borders wherein cartels continue to smuggle minerals such as gold and lithium, among others, into neighboring countries where they rake in millions of dollars.

“Zimbabwe’s natural resources are diverse and plentiful, ranging from renewable energy potential, including hydro, wind and substantial resources such as coal, copper, cobalt, gold, iron, tin, platinum and lithium.

“There is no doubt that these reserves present tremendous wealth and that these results should be deployed to back the national currency,” he added.

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