Trump must restore Zim, US relations
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.