US President Donald Trump’s administration has reportedly called on President Robert Mugabe‘s government to urgently make political and economic reforms to allow for a “robust working relationship between Washington and Harare”.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, visiting Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs at the US department, Carol O’Connell, said the relationship between Zimbabwe and the US was the reason why she was in Harare.
“The relationship between the Zimbabwe government and the United States of America is the main reason why I am here,” O’Connell was quoted as saying.
“We are looking to the Zimbabwe government or leadership to make political and economic changes so that we can work robustly to improve on the relations between us.”
O’Connell said this while addressing journalists during a media briefing in Harare on Tuesday.
Her trip was the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, the report said, adding that she was set to proceed to South Africa on Wednesday.
This came as Trump’s administration was maintaining sanctions on Mugabe, 93, and his wife Grace, accusing the nonagenarian of rights violations and electoral fraud in previous polls.
Zimbabwe was set to go for another presidential election in 2018.
Mugabe’s government has argued over the past years that the West was targeting it for embarking on land reforms which resulted in the displacement of thousands of white commercial farmers and their employees in 2000.
In May, the US announced plans to increase its funding levels to Zimbabwe, particularly in the health sector – despite a diplomatic tiff between the two countries.