Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe wants to return to the United States’ diplomatic fold after years of tense relations, and his administration is confident that president-elect Donald Trump will welcome him back.
Mugabe, 92, has been in power for 36 years, presiding over Zimbabwe’s slow descent from one of Africa’s most productive post-independence economies—know at one point as the continent’s “breadbasket“—into an economic basket case besieged with angry protests. The US has imposed targeted sanctions against the Zimbabwean government since 2001, following a political and economic crisis that saw violent crackdowns by Mugabe and his supporters on opposition politicians and activists.
Mugabe’s government is looking forward to Trump’s inauguration next January as an opportunity to restore relations between Harare and Washington, Chris Mushowe, the country’s information, media and broadcasting services minister, told The Herald, a state-run, pro-Mugabe newspaper.
As a government, we were quite happy listening to Mr. Trump’s acceptance speech,” Mushowe said, welcoming what he saw as Trump’s pledge to work with every nation willing to cooperate with his administration. “Zimbabwe has never had any quarrel with America and does not need to have any quarrel with America.”