US envoy Christopher Dell has dismissed government claims that his country’s foreign policy on Zimbabwe is to forment regime change.
Dell told the Zimbabwe Independent that Washington wanted “regime restoration” rather than
“Contrary to the assertions of the government and its spokesmen, our policy is not about regime change in Zimbabwe,” said Dell.
“It’s about regime restoration; seeing Zimbabwe once again return to the path it set out upon 26 years ago when it did in fact devote its time, energies and resources to the well- being of the people,” he said.
In an interview on the sidelines of a function to bid farewell to 27 Zimbabwean students going to study in the US on full scholarship on Wednesday, Dell said the US had made it clear at every possible instance that it had no problem with the people of Zimbabwe, but with the misguided policies of the government.
“We continue to do what we can, including providing over US$40 million a year in food assistance and more than $25 million to fight HIV and Aids. We also work to provide the best and brightest of Zimbabwean students with the best possible educational opportunities that America has to offer.”
Dell said in the early years of Independence President Mugabe’s government showed a clear commitment to the well-being of its people and devoted large resources to social services such as health and education whose positive results and investment were well-known.
The country is grappling with a six-year economic recession characterised by food shortages, runaway inflation and plummeting industrial output blamed on President Mugabe’s botched land reform.
Dell said although the country was facing economic problems there were still visible pockets of excellence in the educational system.
“Despite the erosion of the past six years, there are obviously still pockets of excellence in the educational system here and the extraordinary abilities of Zimbabweans cannot be denied.”