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Sanctions imposed on Zim are illegal, unnecessary – President Ruto

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

KENYAN President Dr William Ruto says the sanctions that Zimbabwe has endured for the past 24 years are illegal and unnecessary.

He was speaking at a State Banquet hosted for him at the State House in Bulawayo Friday night.

As he spoke about various issues affecting Africa’s development, Dr Ruto added his voice to calls for the lifting of the sanctions which have hampered Zimbabwe’s economic growth saying they are not just unfair and illegal but unnecessary.

“I also call for the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe. 24 years of sanctions is unfair, unnecessary and illegal. Those children born 24 years ago don’t understand what it’s all about, we say it not because it’s politically correct, but the right thing to say. We call for the lifting of the sanctions,” said President Ruto.

He noted that the willingness by the President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government to embark on bilateral cooperation with Kenya will propel relations between the two countries to a higher level.

He called on Africa to be united, saying the continent stands to achieve more when it speaks with one voice.

President Ruto also commended President Mnangagwa for taking a bold step to introduce a currency backed by the country’s minerals.

“I note the government’s decision to undertake a new currency and to back your currency by gold to usher in a new era of economic transformation. You have our support. It is clear that you have the willingness to ensure inclusive development in Zimbabwe and the region working with the rest of the leaders.”

Speaking at the banquet, President Mnangagwa expressed gratitude to President Ruto for Kenya’s continued support to Zimbabwe.

He noted that President Ruto is among African leaders who have used various international fora such as the United Nations General Assembly to call for the lifting of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

The Head of State also emphasised on the need for Africa to unite as it pursues economic growth.

“You have also publicly denounced sanctions on Zimbabwe and we appreciate that. Very few leaders would at the UN conference say what they want, but my dear brother is able to say lift the sanctions on Zimbabwe. So, indeed, we have a friend in Kenya.”

President Mnangagwa revealed his counterpart had donated a consignment of maize to cushion the country against effects of the Elnino-induced drought, expressing gratitude for the kind gesture.

“I was briefing President Ruto about drought and he has donated 30 000 metric tonnes to Zimbabwe. That’s what neighbours, brothers do for each other. I wish to congratulate the people of Kenya for the strides they are taking in registering positive economic growth,” he said.

In 2021, Kenya granted citizenship to nearly 1700 people from Zimbabwe who had settled in Kenya in the 1930s.

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