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Sanctions not targeting Mnangagwa: US official


TOP United States diplomat, Christopher Hunnicutt yesterday said the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera) was amended to push for quick implementation of key economic and political reforms.

By Tinotenda Munyukwi

Hunnicutt also said Zidera was not specifically targeted at President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.

Speaking during a public forum organised by Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) in Harare yesterday, Hunnicutt, a senior economic officer at the US embassy in Harare, maintained that Zidera was meant to improve Zimbabwe’s economic and political environment regardless of who was in power. He said its existence had been extended after a lengthy assessment which justified its amendment.

“When Zidera was created, it was such that it can be removed once government has made reforms to improve the economy, human rights conditions and its democratic State,” Hunnicutt said. “Zidera simply creates an outline on how the government of Zimbabwe can improve its policies and the fact that it was amended recently is not necessarily targeting this specific regime, but I think that it is meant to just make sure we want to see these changes being made.”

After being passed by the US Congress and signed into law by former President George Bush in 2001, current US President Donald Trump last week signed an amendment of the Act for an extended five years. This attracted widespread criticism, especially from the current political establishment with Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, who warned that Zidera would economically hurt ordinary citizens. Hunnicutt, however, said it was possible for the legislation to be repealed once Zimbabwe addressed the areas of improvement as highlighted by the Act to the satisfaction of the authorities in Washington.

He commended the Mnangagwa administration for repealing the indigenisation law, but said there were other grey areas which still necessitated the existence of Zidera including the hosting of free, fair and credible elections.

Hunnicutt also said that it was important to separate Zidera from targeted sanctions as the two existed separately and should not be misconstrued for each other.

“To us we separate the two, Zidera and these targeted sanctions that focus on individuals and certain entities. Numbers have gone down because we now have about 56 entities and 85 individuals still on the targeted sanctions list and these will constantly go under review,” he said.

Zidera was passed and ratified by the US Congress to provide for a transition to democracy and to promote economic recovery in Zimbabwe and its conditions continue to set the tone for the country to fully re-engage with the US.

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  1. These guys are liars. They hide behind sanctions and all but it is the natural resources and the land issues in Zimbabwe that they have interests in. They dont care about ordinary Zimbabweans. sanctions are meant to separate the people from the government and eliminate any resource that zimbabweans can use to enjoy their natural resources.

    • Chibaba, with ZIDERA or not, sanctions or no sanctions, it is the Zanu PF government that has caused untold misery of Zimbabweans since 1990 before ZIDERA and any sanctions were put in place. Even the MDC had not been formed. As for the Americans and the British etc. they only do what is in their best interests so do not be fooled by all the smooth talk. They want to divert Zimbabweans from the task at hand, that is total transformation of Zimbabwe from the exclusive, corrupt, evil and militarised political and economic institutions to inclusive ones for sustainable development.

      • Some people think using the anus, especially people like Okech. Most Companies in Zimbabwe closed because of sanctions. Talk of the Cold Storage Commission which closed after beef exports to EU were banned, on fake reasons that our meat had anthrax. This happened after the coming in of the MDC which oftened blamed Mugabe for human rights. Yes, I admit that Mugabe abused his countrymen but it did not warrant calling of imposition of sanctions by Tsvangirai and his party. There were several ways of dealing with the dictator Mugabe. I would give an example of true nationalists like Joshua Nkomo whose 20 000 supporters were killed during Gukurahundi. He never called for sanctions just to get into power. Recently Mnangagwa was fired but unlike these sellouts he tackled Mugabe head on. Mugabe and the MDC are responsible for our problems.

        • Don’t talk nonsense, you’re talking bullshit. Why are sanctions put in place? Are you saying someone can simply run to America & say put my country under sanctions? That’s absurd. The Americans base the sanctions on governance issues like human rights record, etc. Already the army just mercilessly butchered innocent citizens for their democratic right to protesting & you think that will make the international community fold their hands & pretend it was ok. Are you that very stupid?

          • We have seen worse human right abuses , primarily in many African countries and in many parts of the world. No sanctions have been imposed on Kenya for example, simple because Odinga never went around to beg for the sanctions unlike the MDC. The video of Tsvangirai begging for sanctions is there and the record of the current MDC Alliance leadership crossing the Atlantic to ask that they continue with sanctions is there. No amount of your hurt for ZANU will change this. Just try to import something from the EU or USA and see how much hell you’ll go through, and tell me if these are targeted sanctions.

  2. Christopher Hunnicutt said. “Zidera simply creates an outline on how the government of Zimbabwe can improve its policies and the fact that it was amended recently is not necessarily targeting this specific regime, but I think that it is meant to just make sure we want to see these changes being made.”… The fact he said REGIME speaks volumes…

  3. smith aive nemasactions asi zim yakabudirira ko chatadzisa zanu kusunga chivaYO chii.ko chamisa inoguresheni chii.ko chamisa farming chii.ko chamisa kuvhura shabanie mine chii.ko chamisa kuvhura sourtheton industrial area chii.ko chamisa kusunga masoja akauraya vamhu chii.ko chamisa devopumende munyika chii.ko chamisa kusabhadhara chikwerereti chii.chii Chamisa

  4. If the US is genuinely concerned about human rights as it purports, why did it not impose sanctions at the height of Gukurahundi when human rights organisations raised the flag over the flagrant human rights violations? Back then, Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF where the darling of the West and the West chose to see no evil and speak no evil. Sanctions were only imposed when the Western interests, Vis the white monopoly capital, was besieged following the fast track land reform program. The US does not have permanent friends. It only has got permanent interests!

  5. I wrote on this publication a few days ago that Zimbos have a problem of celebrating negative news. I also said Mnangagwa’s child will not go to bed hungry neither will he fail to raise fees because of these sunctions. It’s your child and mine who will suffer. Whoever rules there should be no sunctions. Does the playing field become level when another party is under sanctions during elections. The USA was actually trying to rig elections. I respect the British they are fairer than MAD Trump. They British did not try to interfere with our elections.

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