Brian A. Nichols
Brian Nichols.jpg
Assumed office
July 2018

Brian Nichols is a politician and the current Ambassador of the United States of America to Zimbabwe. He was appointed in June 2018 by President Donald Trump and presented his credentials in Harare on 19 July 2018. He succeeded Harry Thomas.

Before coming to Zimbabwe, Nichols was the US Ambassador to Peru from 2014 to 2017.

Position on Sanctions

After his appointment Nichols commented that Zimbabwe had to fulfill the requirements of its 2013 Constitution for the U.S. Congress and administration of President Donald Trump, to revisit the scrapping of the ZIDERA sanctions.[1]

The U.S. policy toward Zimbabwe has a number of elements, but one of those elements is legal and that’s ZIDERA. To put is as simply as I can, if Zimbabwe fulfils the requirements of its 2013 Constitution, it will meet the requirements of ZIDERA.

ZIDERA covers lending by international organizations to Zimbabwe and forgiveness of the debt that Zimbabwe has to those organizations, and countries in the Paris Club.

The sanctions that exist are executive branch sanctions on 154 individuals and entities and it prevents people from the United States or through the United States economic system from providing economic benefits to those people, or it can prevent them from travelling to the United States.

So there are two different areas, but Zimbabwe’s progress in building a democracy that respects the tenets of the 2013 Constitution, is the key thing that it needs to do.[1] /

Called a thug by Zimbabwe's Ruling Party

Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF acting party spokesman Patrick Chinamasa late on Monday 27 July 2020 lashed out at the U.S. government and U.S. Ambassador Brian Nichols.

Chinamasa claimed the U.S., through Nichols, was backing Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, via anti-government protests scheduled for Friday.

“If he continues to engage in acts undermining the republic, mobilizing and funding disturbances, coordinating violence and training insurgency, our leadership will not hesitate to give him marching orders," said Chinamasa. "Diplomats should not behave like thugs and Brian Nichols is a thug … We remind Nichols that he is not a super diplomat in this country. … We have nothing to learn from the United States.”

The U. S. Embassy in Harare had no immediate reaction to the remarks or the threat to expel Ambassador Nichols.

Tensions with Zimbabwe surfaced after the U.S. Embassy in July 2020 spoke out against police arresting a prominent journalist and an opposition leader. Police claimed reporter Hopewell Chin’ono and Transform Zimbabwe’s Jacob Ngarivhume were stoking violence for the planned Friday 31 July 2020 anti-government protest. The U.S. called the arrests an attack on free press and freedom of speech.[2]

Promotion by Joe Biden

America’s 46th President Joseph Joe Biden is planning to promote the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ambassador Brian A Nichols by nominating him to be the Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, AP News reports. If congress approves his nomination, Ambassador Nichols will become a top diplomat in Latin America and the Caribbean and the first African American to become the top diplomat for the Latin American region since Terence Todman in the 1970s according the publication.

Ambassador Nichols according to the publication has had a long carrer in Latin America:

  • He was an ambassador to Peru
  • A consular officer at the beginning of his career.
  • He was also the number two official at the Bogota embassy, ​​where the largest US diplomatic presence is deployed in the region.
  • He has also worked in Mexico and El Salvador and in the office dedicated to the fight against drugs in the region.


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Says Removal of ZIDERA, Sanctions, Contingent on Reforms, VOA Zimbabwe, Published: 15 Sep 2018, Retrieved: 25 Sep 2019
  2. Columbus Mavhunga, [1], VOA News, Published: 28 July, 2020, Accessed: 3 February, 2021