US senator fights Zim sanctions

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A United States Senator Jim Inhofe has reintroduced the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2011 in a bid to cause the repeal of economic sanctions imposed on the southern African country in 2001 under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera).

Inhofe first introduced this legislation last year.
According to a Press release from Inhofe’s office, the US was acknowledging for the first time that Zidera imposed sanctions on the country and not just targeted individuals as it has argued all along.

“In 2001, economic sanctions were imposed against Zimbabwe as a result of President Robert Mugabe’s oppressive leadership and fiscally irresponsible programmes that collapsed the economy,” a statement from Inhofe’s office said.

“These sanctions specifically directed the US to oppose and vote against any extension of loans, credits, or guarantees to the government of Zimbabwe from the United States or any international financial institution.”

The statement also said the US engineered the power-sharing agreement which was reached by the three parties currently in the inclusive government.

“As a result of a 2008 power-sharing agreement engineered by the Southern African Development Community and the United States, Mugabe remains President, but the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai holds the post of Prime Minister. Under this new government, the Zimbabwe economy is starting to recover and democratic freedoms are re-emerging.

“Repealing the 2001 sanctions will allow the Zimbabwe economy to recover and fully assist in its process of transition to democracy,” the statement issued by Jared Young said.

“Zimbabwe’s economy continues to recover and its citizens begin to rebuild their lives,” said Inhofe.

“I applaud the efforts of Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government, as their inflation rate has been drastically reduced and the real gross domestic product has improved and is expected to increase by 9,3% during 2011.

“However, the economic sanctions imposed by the United States in 2001 continue to be a burden on this African nation’s economy. (Removing sanctions) is absolutely necessary to assisting Zimbabwe by fully restoring the nation’s economy and helping Zimbabwe’s transition into a democracy. With this, I hope that Zimbabwe can once again become the ‘breadbasket of Africa’.”