by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE United States’ (US’) renewal of sanctions on some ruling party and government officials in Zimbabwe is a major blow to the Southern African Development Community (SADC’s) appeals to Western nations to remove restrictions on the Southern African country.
US President, Donald Trump, has confirmed the sanctions imposed 16 years ago would be extended following the post-election violence, reports of intimidation and alleged bias of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), which Trump said kept the 2018 polls from being fully free and fair.
“President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has yet to implement the political and economic overhaul required to rebuild its reputation within the international community and dramatically improve its relationship with the United States,” Trump wrote in a letter to the US Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate.
He stated the actions and policies of certain members of the Zimbabwean government and other individuals to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions continued to pose an “unusual and extraordinary” threat to the foreign policy of the US.
“For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288 with respect to Zimbabwe and to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat.”
The renewal of the sanctions imposed in 2003 is effective Wednesday (March 6).
Initially, sanctions were imposed on the regime of Robert Mugabe, who resigned as President in 2017 after military intervention.
SADC has been appealing for the removal of the measures, highlighting the restrictions were worsening Zimbabwe’s economic problems.
But Zimbabwe, SADC and African Union view these restrictions as driven by motive for regime change in the country.
– CAJ News