Trump must re­store Zim, US re­la­tions

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

THE whole world was stunned yes­ter­day when United States of Amer­ica bil­lion­aire Mr Don­ald J. Trump thumped his Demo­cratic party ri­val Mrs Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton to claim the US pres­i­dency with a land­slide vic­tory that was both spec­tac­u­lar as it was shock­ing.

Mr Trump an ec­cen­tric, ego­tis­tic, boast­ful, bom­bas­tic and abra­sive new­comer to the cut-throat Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal ter­rain de­fied poll­sters, the mainstream me­dia and the Wash­ing­ton po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment to coast to vic­tory in an elec­tion that had ram­i­fi­ca­tions for the en­tire world as the US re­mains the only true su­per­power af­ter the col­lapse of the Soviet Union.

Against all odds in­clud­ing op­po­si­tion from his own Repub­li­can party, Mr Trump first blew away the pri­mary con­tenders from his party be­fore lay­ing claim to the ul­ti­mate throne where he came against a vet­eran of the US sys­tem who once oc­cu­pied the White House as First Lady be­fore serv­ing in Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion as Sec­re­tary of State.

Mrs Clin­ton rep­re­sented the es­tab­lished or­der, sta­bil­ity and con­ti­nu­ity hence she was widely ac­cepted by the power bro­kers who in­clude poll­sters, the me­dia and cru­cially the global mar­kets which fell sharply when it be­came clear that Mr Trump was headed for a land­slide vic­tory in the early hours of yes­ter­day. As the world reeled and di­gested this shocker, an en­dur­ing mes­sage had been sent out: Don’t take peo­ple for granted.

Mr Trump, rev­el­ling in his un­likely vic­tory, gave a states­man­like and mea­sured speech in sharp con­trast to the bel­li­cose rhetoric which was the hall­mark of his elec­tion cam­paign. “I’ve just re­ceived a call from Sec­re­tary Clin­ton. She con­grat­u­lated us on our vic­tory and I con­grat­u­lated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought cam­paign. I mean, she fought very hard. Hil­lary has worked very long and very hard over a long pe­riod of time, and we owe her a ma­jor debt of grat­i­tude for her ser­vice to our coun­try,” he said.

“I mean that very sin­cerely. Now it is time for Amer­ica to bind the wounds of di­vi­sion, have to get to­gether. To all Repub­li­cans and Democrats and in­de­pen­dents across this na­tion, I say it is time for us to come to­gether as one united peo­ple”.

Mr Trump, who was crit­i­cised for his di­vi­sive and po­lar­is­ing mes­sage dur­ing his cam­paign, pledged to unite the na­tion. “I pledge to ev­ery cit­i­zen of our land that I will be pres­i­dent for all Amer­i­cans, and this is so im­por­tant to me. For those who have cho­sen not to sup­port me in the past, of which there were a few peo­ple, I’m reach­ing out to you for your guid­ance and your help so that we can work to­gether and unify our great coun­try. As I’ve said from the be­gin­ning, ours was not a cam­paign but rather an in­cred­i­ble and great move­ment, made up of mil­lions of hard-work­ing men and women who love their coun­try and want a bet­ter, brighter fu­ture for them­selves and for their family,” he said.

Cru­cially, Mr Trump showed that he could be a prag­matic Com­man­der in Chief will­ing to en­gage other na­tions. In a de­par­ture from his war-mon­ger­ing rhetoric, he said: “At the same time, we will get along with all other na­tions will­ing to get along with us. We will be. We will have great re­la­tion­ships. We ex­pect to have great, great re­la­tion­ships”. We hope stays true to his word and adopts a for­eign pol­icy that will not fur­ther alien­ate the US from the rest of the world but will seek to build bridges not war.

Dur­ing his cam­paign, Mr Trump spoke of build­ing a wall to keep out Mex­i­can im­mi­grants and ban­ning Mus­lims from en­ter­ing the US but in his vic­tory speech, he steered clear of those con­tro­ver­sial re­marks. We hope he won’t adopt a hard­line stance against the US’s foes and will pur­sue en­gage­ment rather than con­fronta­tion with other states.

Zimbabwe is a vic­tim of Amer­i­can ag­gres­sion with Pres­i­dent Obama ear­lier this year re­new­ing sanc­tions against the coun­try for an­other year even though the Euro­pean Union has re­moved most of the puni­tive mea­sures on Harare. Un­der the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­la­tions be­tween the US and Zimbabwe re­mained strained and our hope is that Pres­i­dent-elect Trump will fol­low the route of the EU and pri­ori­tise re-en­gage­ment with Zimbabwe in­stead of con­tin­u­ing the scorched earth pol­icy adopted by his pre­de­ces­sor.

The peo­ple of Zimbabwe hold no grudges with the US but a bi­lat­eral dis­pute over the land re­form pro­gramme be­tween the coun­try and its erst­while coloniser, Bri­tain, has un­for­tu­nately been in­ter­na­tion­alised and sucked in Wash­ing­ton.

We pray that Pres­i­dent-elect Trump sees rea­son and is pre­pared to start on a clean slate with Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe and the peo­ple of Zimbabwe. His vic­tory stun­ning as it was

is an op­por­tu­nity for Amer­ica project a new path in the world.

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