Zimbabwe‘s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday (December 14) called for national unity and the removal of Western sanctions on his government during a speech to ruling party officials.
Mnangagwa, 75, became leader of the southern African nation last month after the military and ruling ZANU-PF turned against Robert Mugabe who had ruled the country for 37 years and was seen grooming his wife Grace to succeed him.
While the European Union removed sanctions on ZANU-PF officials, members of the military and some government-owned firms in 2014, the United States has kept a travel and economic embargo on several ruling party elites. Mnangagwa also told a meeting of the ZANU-PF central committee in downtown Harare that elections due in 2018 were nearer than “you expect”.
The international community will be closely watching the elections. The vote is due at the end of July in 2018 but there is speculation it could be brought forward to as early as March.