US renews sanctions against Zimbabwe despite Mugabe’s exit.4 min read

The United States of America government has renewed targeted sanctions against President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his administration saying ‘Zimbabwe has had ample opportunity to implement reforms that could set the country on a constructive path, stabilize the southern African region, and open the door to greater cooperation with the United States.’

In a statement posted on the Whitehouse website yesterday, US President Donald Trump said the measures taken against the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons accused of undermining democratic processes in Harare will continue beyond March 6, 2020.

Below is the full statement from the White House:

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days before the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288 of March 6, 2003, with respect to the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions is to continue in effect beyond March 6, 2020.

In the wake of the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017, Zimbabwe’s national elections in July 2018, and President Mugabe’s subsequent death in September 2019, Zimbabwe has had ample opportunity to implement reforms that could set the country on a constructive path, stabilize the southern African region, and open the door to greater cooperation with the United States. Unfortunately, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has yet to signal credible political will to implement such reforms. Indeed, the Zimbabwean government has arguably accelerated its persecution of critics and economic mismanagement in the past year, during which security forces have conducted extrajudicial killings, rapes, and alleged abductions of numerous dissidents.

These actions and policies by certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288 with respect to Zimbabwe.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

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In a swift response, the government of Zinbabwe has expressed concern over the renewal of sanctions by the United States, despite the steady progress it has made in the implementation of various reforms.

In a recent statement, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said although they were disappointed, the Government was not surprised by the latest move.

“Of particular regret, and where we must register our deep concern is that the narrative accompanying the renewal order makes no reference to, nor does it acknowledge or recognise any of the notable progress made in implementation of the political, economic and legislative reform programme outlined by His Excellency the President when he assumed office in November, 2017 and further reinforced following the harmonised elections of July 2018,” said Minister Moyo.

He said some of the reforms carried out include the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) designed to rein in Government expenditure, the repeal of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the imminent repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the imminent licensing of community radio stations and independent television stations.

Cabinet has also approved electoral reforms, the commitment by Government to align the laws with the Constitution by June 2020 and the establishment of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency to improve the business environment.

Minister Moyo said Government was also implementing recommendations from the Motlanthe Commission report following the August 1, 2018 disturbances that led to the death of six people.

Despite the extension of sanction, Minister Moyo said the re-engagement with the US 

“They are aggrieved by the certain irreversibility of the land reform and its perceived domino effect on South Africa and Namibia.”

Mr Mureriwa added that the US objective in the SADC region was to have all liberation movements out of power to have easy and free access to mineral and other natural resources.

Another analyst Mr Obert Gutu said Zimbabwe was a safe and stable country that does not pose any threat to any nation.

“It is, therefore, extremely unfortunate and sad that the White House has decided to extend sanctions against Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe isn’t a hot-spot whichever way you choose to look at it. Zimbabwe doesn’t harbour any terrorists that seek to harm American interests,” he said.

Mr Gutu said the US wanted to effect regime change through the continued imposition of sanctions that have been in existence for close to two decades now.

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