Renewal of sanctions by US disappointing but not a surprise: DR SB Moyo

By ZBC Reporter
THE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade says he has noted with disappointment but without surprise, the renewal of United States sanctions against Zimbabwe for a further one year.
In a statement following the renewal of sanctions by the US against the country this week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Rtd. Lt. Gen. Sibusiso Moyo said the country’s deepest concern is that the narrative accompanying the renewal order makes no reference to the notable progress made in the implementation of the political, economic and legislative reforms programme in Zimbabwe.
“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 notable progress made in implementation of the political, economic and legislative reform programme outlines by his Excellency, the President, when he assumed office in November 2017, and further reinforced following the harmonised elections of July 2018,” read the statement.
US President, Donald Trump extended sanctions against Zimbabwe by a year, saying that the new government’s policies continue to pose an “unusual and extraordinary” threat to the American foreign policy.
The renewal on Monday comes despite calls by African leaders and SADC for the sanctions to be lifted to give the country a chance to recover from the economic challenges it is currently experiencing.
Minister Moyo said he strongly disagreed with the assertion that the government has not demonstrated the political will to effect major reform.
He highlighted various reforms, which the US government chose to ignore, that are evidence of the path to reform in the country such as the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, the repeal of POSA, the imminent repeal of AIPPA, the imminent licensing of community radio stations and independent television stations, electoral law reforms endorsed by cabinet and now awaiting formal submission to the Parliamentary Consultative Process, the commitment to complete the alignment of all laws to the 2013 constitution by June 2020, the formal establishment of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, Ongoing Ease of Doing Business Reforms, the ongoing implementation of the Motlanthe Commission recommendations among others.
Dr Moyo however noted that the country will continue to seek meaningful re-engagement with the United States and continue to pursue the reform agenda.
In 2002 and 2003, the United States, Britain and her allies imposed targeted sanctions on the Government of Zimbabwe over the land reform programme which Zimbabwe embarked on to redistribute land to previously marginalised black Zimbabweans. The restrictions include financial and visa sanctions against selected individuals, a ban on transfers of defence items and services and a suspension of non-humanitarian government-to-government assistance.