Zim govt 'slams opposition for backing crippling US sanctions' - report

Harare – The Zimbabwean government has reportedly slammed the main opposition for reportedly advocating for the continuation of "ruinous" sanctions.

According to The Zimbabwean, a delegation from the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance urged US lawmakers last week to maintain the same policies against the southern African country’s government.

MDC-T vice president Nelson Chamisa, People’s Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti and MDC president Welshman Ncube, who doubles as MDC Alliance spokesperson, reportedly appealed for help from US President Donald Trump’s government in dealing with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The trio were in the US as part of a global campaign to exert international pressure on Mnangagwa for reforms.

The state-owned Herald newspaper reported that Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, retired Major General Dr Sibusiso Moyo described the calls as "staggering", saying Mnangagwa won’t be able to undo 37 years of damage in just 2 weeks.

Reviving the economy

Moyo maintained that the newly elected president was aiming to revive the economy and uplift the people of Zimbabwe, but under sanctions this would be impossible to achieve.

"Zimbabwe’s new government has been in office shorter than two weeks. It is staggering that these gentlemen should have expected the deeds of 37 years to be corrected and livelihoods improved in that short time," Moyo was quoted as saying.

"As if that myopia was not enough, the trio and others requested their American hosts for more of the same policies which have inflicted so much suffering on our people. How could any serious putative future leader of our country ask that ZIDERA remains in place?"

Moyo said that the sanctions by US government - since the early 2000s - were "ruinous".

The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2000, after they accused ex-president Robert Mugabe of trampling on human rights, rigging elections and repression of press freedom - accusations that the veteran leader denied. 

The sanctions have led to devastating economic challenges, with the country reportedly now sitting with about 85% unemployment.

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