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You can’t blame sanctions on problems caused by corruption: US tells Mnangagwa

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

The United States has told President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime that “blaming sanctions is a convenient scapegoat to distract the public from the real reasons behind Zimbabwe’s economic challenges.”

US President Joe Biden and President Emmerson Mnangagwa
US President Joe Biden and President Emmerson Mnangagwa

“Blaming sanctions is a convenient scapegoat to distract the public from the real reasons behind Zimbabwe’s economic challenges – corruption, economic mismanagement, and failure to respect human rights and uphold the rule of law. #ItsNotSanctions,” the US Embassy in Harare said in three different languages, English, Ndebele and Shona.

The US added that it’s sanctions were not targeting the whole government but specific individuals and companies responsible for orchestrating corruption and human rights abuses.

“US sanctions only target those who engage in corruption, violate human rights, and undermine democratic processes in Zimbabwe. The Government of Zimbabwe as a whole is not subject to US sanctions.

“Only 83 individuals and 37 companies, in a country of over 15 million, are targeted by sanctions,” read a statement by the US posted on Twitter.

This prompted government spokesman Nick Mangwana to respond asking one of the world’s superpowers why it imposed sanctions on the pretext that Zimbabwe was posing a threat to US foreign policy.

“How does all this connect to the sanctions renewal statement that Zimbabwe, ‘poses an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States,” he said.

“Sanctions have an indirect consequence. This is perception. Putting Zimbabwe under sanctions automatically tags her as undesirable and therefore makes investors shun the country. This is not a targeted travel ban. These are sanctions. zimsanctionsmustgo,” Mangwana said.

On Monday, October 25, Zimbabwe commemorated the Anti-Sanctions Solidarity. Southern African countries are pouring in their solidarity messages.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson Lazarus Chakwera called for the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe

“As a Region, we remain adamant that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, whether targeted or restrictive, are a fundamental constraint and hindrance to the country’s prospects of economic recovery, human security and sustainable growth.

“The global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the recent devastating cyclones Chalane (December 2020) and Eloise (February 2021) have mounted added socio-economic pressures that continue to impact negatively on the lives and livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

The United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, Alena Douhan is in Zimbabwe meeting stakeholders and assessing the impact of sanctions in Zimbabwe.

She will make a public report and present it at the UN Human Rights Council during its 51st session in September 2022- just less than a year before Zimbabwe’s 2023 general elections. Nehanda Radio