By Staff Reporter
THE visiting Deputy assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs at the United State Department Carol O’Connell has urged the government to urgently make political and economic reforms.
Speaking during a media briefing in Harare Tuesday, O’ Connell said the US government is keen to see reforms made to allow for a robust working relationship between Washington and Harare.
“The relationship between Zimbabwe government and the United States of America is the main reason why I am here.
“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.
The call comes as Zimbabwe’s socio-political and economic climate continues to deteriorate albeit a legitimacy crisis that has haunted the Zanu PF government for years.
The push for institutional and policy reforms also comes as the opposition has stepped up calls for international intervention ahead of the 2018 elections.
O’Connell’s trip is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe. She was expected to proceed to South Africa on Wednesday.
She said in terms of working relationships nothing had changed though there were on going changes in terms of budgeting under President Donald Trump.
“Yes, we have a new government and relationships have not changed, even though discussions are on-going in terms of budgeting. The US will continue supporting many programmes in Zimbabwe under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),” she said.
“We are also making own judgments at the Congress since it is a new administration but this is nowhere going to have any changes in our relationships especially on programmes funding,” O’Connell added.
US ambassador to Harare, Harry K. Thomas Jnr, has repeatedly said White House’s policy will not change while calling for reforms.
He has also called for patience as the Trump administration works on minor administrative adjustments.