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The US extends sanctions on Zimbabwe

By Tatenda Marwodzi

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President Mnangagwa has spent the last year and a half making endless international trips begging the international community to pardon Zimbabwe of its past atrocities. “Operation restore legacy” was Mnangagwa’s mantra when he toppled Robert Mugabe out of power in the events of November 2017.

His whole presidential campaign was pivoted around implementing reforms that would have sanctions removed from Zimbabwe. And when he was finally announced as the winner of the 2018 elections, there was an expectation that Zimbabwe’s democracy and the economy would improve for the better. Things did not go as planned.

On 1 August 2018, the world watched as the Zimbabwe military unleashed terror on civilians in a bid to stop protesters from exercising their rights. The regime turned a blind eye choosing not to punish the army personnel responsible for the killings. When civilians took to the streets to protest against the rising price of fuel in January 2019, the government responded the only way it knew how by deploying the army, an organ that is trained for war and has only one goal- to shoot to kill.

The United States has not shied away from expressing its disappointment in the rising levels of corruption, excessive use of military and deteriorating economy under the reigns of Mnangagwa and his allies making it extremely difficult for the US to have any relationship with Zimbabwe.

“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 foreign policy on the United States,” Trump’s letter to the house and congress reads. “For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency.” extending US sanctions on Zimbabwe by a further 12 months.

The Zimbabwean government has no doubt been dismayed by this new development. In a press statement released by the secretary of information, Nick Mangwana, the government denied all allegations of military violence.

“The government of Zimbabwe strongly objects to the unfounded assertion that its security forces engaged in acts of extrajudicial killings and rape against its own citizens.” Zimbabwe has cried foul in a game of “David vs Goliath” and has called upon those nations who wish the country well to be patient with the government to undertake reforms.


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