KWEKWE — United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray has said politicians who continue attributing Zimbabwe’s economic woes on the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, 2001 (Zidera) are misinforming the nation as the law is yet to be activated.
Addressing a handful of youths at a local hotel after a meeting to launch the Midlands Youth Dialogue Forum was disrupted by suspected Zanu PF supporters last week, Ray said Zidera had not yet been formally applied on Zimbabwe, contrary to claims by Zanu PF politicians.
“The law was made to ensure that American companies and the government would vote against any applications for grants from either the World Bank or International Monetary Fund (IMF).
We have not used the law since Zimbabwe has defaulted on its debts with the two institutions and is therefore not eligible to any grants.
Anyone who says Zidera and sanctions imposed by the US are hurting Zimbabwe will be lying or are just misinformed,” Ray said.
The envoy said Zimbabwe was not under any sanctions from his country, but a few individuals were on a travel ban list.
“You would not be able to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola or see Jeep Cherokees in the showrooms of car dealerships in Harare because sanctions would have stopped that. What we have is a sanctions list which has about 130 people from around the world who are prohibited from travelling to the US and have their accounts and assets frozen,” said Ray.
But, Owen Mudha Ncube, who is Zanu PF Midlands secretary for security, dismissed the envoy’s comments as false, insisting the Americans had hurt the country’s economy as part of their “neocolonialism agenda”.
“He wants to travel freely in our country, yet they have banned our leaders from doing the same in their country. We will not allow that, it is our duty to protect our Zimbabwe since we fought for it,” said Ncube, who claimed to have organised the disruption of the meeting.