US move to extend sanctions on Zimbabwe baffling: Govt

GOVERNMENT says the move by the United States of America to extend sanctions on Zimbabwe by another year is baffling.
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.
In a statement, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana said the government was dismayed by the message from the White House.
“Once again, the Government of the United States has chosen to strangely characterise Zimbabwe as a country that ‘poses an extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States’. We find this a baffling position,” said the Permanent Secretary.
Mangwana highlighted that all the Zimbabwean Government is asking for is to be allowed space for full membership of the community of nations.
“We don’t seek to interfere with the foreign policy or interests of any nation and we have no history of doing that, our commitment is to the development of our country and the socio-economic outcomes to our people,” read the statement.
According to US officials, there are 141 entities and individuals in Zimbabwe currently under US sanctions, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other top government officials.
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.