Appearing before the United States Senates Foreign Relations Subcommittee, writer and former human rights lawyer Peter Godwin suggested that the US Senate could suspend sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Godwin said that the sanction had not had any effect on Zanu-PF except to give it excuses for its failures and mismanagement.
Godwin said that the sanctions could be suspended for a given period of time and immediately reinstated if President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government did not meet benchmarks on reforms. Godwin also suggested that the US government could follow the Lancaster House model where financial support was promised on the condition of reforms.
Responding to a question from thUnited States Senator Corey Booker who had asked for recommendations on additional actions which the United States could take to ensure that reforms woul be implemented, Goodwin said.
We are stuck in this sterile binary and Zimbabweans are a very hopeful people and we are easy to peddle hope to and we have low expectations and they are often dashed.
One is tempted to indulge in a period of blue sky thinking to say we have had these sanctions, these individualized sanctions in place for however long and they have had no effect whatsoever. In fact, what they have done, to some extent, critics will say is provided Zanu-PF with a very convenient excuse for every time the economy is bad, they say its sanctions, its sanctions, it’s not us, blame America, Blame the EU
It shields them from the consequences of their own mismanagement. Bear in mind, that Zimbabwe as far as I understand it has the fastest shrinking economies in the history of peacetime economies….It’s pure incompetence, corruption and patronage.
…I am almost hesitant to mention this. You flip the sanctions that you have got now… a reverse sunset clause where you say I will tell you what we will do. You have got this new government, we will give you the benefit of the doubt for six months or say until the next elections. We are going to drop all sanctions but they will automatically go back on if you don’t meet these benchmarks, the benchmarks we have all been talking about. The ones where there is pretty wide agreement on in civic society. That way you take away the excuse of sanctions and whatever.
… That will be a way to prioritise the carrot over the stick to see if it mixes up and if it works. Personally, I don’t think it will work, but sometimes that can be unlocked.