By Godfrey Olukya
KAMPALA, Uganda (AA) – Zimbabwean and Ugandan leaders Wednesday decried the Western world slapping sanctions on small African countries who are unable to defend themselves.
Speaking as guest of honor at Uganda's 57th independence celebration held in Sironko, eastern Uganda, 200 kilometers east of the capital Kampala, Emmeson Mnangangwa, Zimbabwe's president, said that life in Zimbabwe has not been easy over the last 20 years due to Western sanctions on the country.
But Zimbabwe is a country in transition, he added.
He said despite sanctions from Western countries, the support they get from fellow African countries has contributed much to the country's struggle.
“We have been under sanctions for the last 20 years. But because of support from countries like Uganda we still survive,” he said.
For his part, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni blasted Western countries for putting sanctions on small countries like Zimbabawe which he said cannot fight back.
“Zimbabwe is a small country which cannot respond to sanctions by Western countries. If African countries get united, they can easily deal with such sanctions,” he said.
Citing China, he said it recently has been at economic loggerheads with the U.S. but as it cannot easily be bullied it has made the U.S. negotiate to come to an agreement.
“When the U.S. slaps China, China slaps back. So in the end they agree to sit at a round table and negotiate,” he said.
In the 1980s and ‘90s, after Zimbabwe’s then-President Robert Mugabe confiscated farms belonging to white farmers and gave them to his supporters, Western countries slapped sanctions on the country, leading to economic turmoil.
Mugabe stepped down from the presidency in November 2017 before passing away this September.