THE embattled United States President Joseph Biden has extended targeted sanctions imposed on some Zanu PF officials and companies said to be undermining Zimbabwe’s democratization process.
In a statement, Biden said, “President Emmerson Mnangagwa has not made the necessary political and economic reforms that would warrant terminating the existing targeted sanctions program. Throughout the last year, government security services routinely intimidated and violently repressed citizens, including members of opposition political parties, union members, and journalists. The absence of progress on the most fundamental reforms needed to ensure the rule of law, democratic governance, and the protection of human rights leaves Zimbabweans vulnerable to ongoing repression and presents a continuing threat to peace and security in the region.
Biden noted that “the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288, as amended, with respect to Zimbabwe and to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat.”
U.S. targeted sanctions apply to only 86 Zimbabwean individuals and 56 entities (mostly farms and legal entities owned by the 87 individuals) as of February 2020.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been campaigning regionally and internationally for the removal of the sanctions ,claiming that they are devastating the local economy.
The West imposed the sanctions claiming that the Zanu PF government was rigging elections and violating people’s rights.