Wednesday, November 14, 2018
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US sanctions on Zimbabwe to remain until reforms happen

US sanctions on Zimbabwe remain in placeThe US government will not lift sanctions against Zimbabwe until President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government demonstrates it is “changing its ways,” a senior US economic official told a congressional panel.

Manisha Singh, US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, told a House of Representatives hearing there were 141 entities and individuals in Zimbabwe, including Mnangagwa and former president Robert Mugabe, currently under US sanctions.

“Our pressure on Zimbabwe remains in place. We are trying to use this pressure to leverage political and economic reforms, human rights observations,” Singh said.

“We want to see fundamental changes in Zimbabwe and only then will we resume normal relations,” she added.

Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s new president on August 26 after the Constitutional Court confirmed his July 30 election victory, dismissing a challenge by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

Mnangagwa called for lifting of US sanctions against officials from the ZANU-PF ruling party, top military figures and some government-owned firms, imposed during Mugabe’s rule for violations of human rights and democracy.

The EU lifted most of its sanctions in 2014 maintaining those against Mugabe and his wife Grace.

The July ballot was touted as a crucial step towards shedding the pariah reputation Zimbabwe gained under Mugabe as well as securing international donor funding.

Representative Karen Bass, a Democrat from California, said Zimbabwe was “trying to reach out to us now and I want to know where we are with that.”

“We are always open to conversations. We are open to a demonstration from the government it is changing its ways, it is observing human rights,” Singh added.

 

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