US piles more pressure on Mnangagwa

THE United States administration has challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to deal with his government’s economic mismanagement rather than blame the current economic mess on sanctions the global powerhouse imposed on Zimbabwe.

BY EVERSON MUSHAVA

The US has maintained sanctions on the southern African nation since 2001 through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera) and sanctioned individuals and dozens of companies associated with the government.

Mnangagwa is among the 141 people and institutions that are still under the US sanctions, which were extended on July 25 this year, days before elections that gave the Zanu PF leader a five-year term.

Zanu PF and some observers have continuously blamed the sanctions for the deteriorating economic situation in the country, which they claimed were making it difficult for the country to access international lines of credit.

However, giving testimony before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy on Thursday, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, senior fellow and Centre for Global Development executive director Todd Moss said the Mnangagwa administration should take responsibility for the country’s mess.

Moss said sanctions were not the reason Zimbabwe was not accessing lines of credit, but that Harare has not been servicing its international debt obligations.

“The government of Zimbabwe constantly complains that economic difficulties are the result of US sanctions rather than their own mismanagement and corruption,” Moss said.

“Blaming the US is just another example of a government failing to take responsibility for its own actions.

“The reason the government cannot borrow from international financial institutions is not because of US sanctions, but because the government has not paid its bills since 2001 and is now more than $5 billion in arrears to international creditors (about $2 billion to the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank, and roughly $3 billion to the US and other Paris Club creditors).”

He said although the US imposed “a modest programme of targeted bilateral sanctions on those who have undermined democracy”, these were not trade sanctions against the country.

Moss noted that there were no practical measures to address the economic situation in Zimbabwe, claiming the deteriorating economic situation “cannot be rescued by tweaking fiscal policy at the margins” as proposed in Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s 2019 budget.

“The roots of the economic crisis are political. The solutions also must start with political reform,” Moss said, adding that until Mnangagwa dealt with the dominance of the military in the economy, the ongoing rackets of predatory elites and the flouting of laws, the country’s economy could not be fixed.

Moss, who visited Zimbabwe with a delegation of former US diplomats prior to the July 30 elections to assess the electoral field, said Zimbabwe has only witnessed less meaningful structural changes as Zanu PF continued to operate like a military junta.

He described Mnangagwa’s promise for political and economic reforms as a “poorly disguised charade”, and accused the 75-year-old Zanu PF leader of failing to put the country on a positive track after years of former President Robert Mugabe’s misrule.

The US government, Moss warned, should be very careful when dealing with the Harare administration, urging Washington to maintain the sanctions imposed on the country and withhold debt relief or new loans until significant reforms have been made.

Moss said the lack of good faith fundamentally undermined the credibility of the election, and both the European Union and the US missions found major shortcomings in the polls.

“Even the August 1 murder of six civilians in full view of the international Press and international election observers has been whitewashed. The government has, incredibly, even tried to blame the opposition for causing the violence when the TV cameras show soldiers shooting civilians in cold blood. This is not a government facing its mistakes or changing its behaviour,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Matthew Harrington said Mnangagwa’s government had tried to change, “but so far, the pace and scale of reforms has been too gradual and not nearly ambitious enough”.

Addressing the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, Zimbabwe businessman Joe Mutizwa, however, made a passionate plea for the removal of sanctions, claiming they were a great obstacle to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery.

“Furthermore, the country’s export competitiveness is adversely affected by negative perceptions of the country resulting in high country risk profile translating into higher country risk premiums,” Mutizwa said.

“Due to the above, the private sector in Zimbabwe finds it very difficult to access affordable external financing to retool and modernise plant and equipment and access technology.”
The meeting was also attended by Ncube, who reassured the US that Zimbabwe was moving towards economic reforms, and also pleaded for support.

17 Comments

  1. Comment…ED must reform Zbc from zanu broadcasting corporayion to Zimbabwe broadcasting corporation which is objective in coverage than the former which is subjective. Nextweek, zanu broadcasting corporation will be covering its annual convention live. We continue to suffer. Pasi nejunta

  2. It is very surprising this Moss guy sounds so empty and dull whereas most people would expect him to be among the most informed. It is also surprising to note how ignorant some of these people are as far as firearms are concerned. I would rather urge some millitary personel in the Us to teach Mr Moss how a gun works. Tell him that nobody can shoot someone in cold blood while pointing the barrel of the gun in the sky. There is a possibility that the Moss guy has a different reason for being imotional. It could just be his staunch support for the opposition. But then this is unacceptable since we zimbabweans do not interefere in american politics. Please Mr Moss, don’t be overtaken by events. Our government has already taken steps to clear those debts and it is a real program with a real timeline. Our minister of finance is far more qualified and experienced than you in this field and and don’t bother too much giving him unecessary instructions.

    1. isiqholo seZhwane

      ..and don’t bother Moss and US to remove targeted sanctions when we have China who have not imposed any kind of sanctions.So Zimbabwe is like South Africa, flooded with unlicensed guns,AK 47 and the likes which people can use to shoot at the opposition just like that with no arrests.

    2. Nhire you are a disgrace.You think and reason like a she goat.

    3. Shut up Nhire hapana zvinoziikanwa ndimi maiti ED PFEE tirikukuonai , ndimi murikuramba muchi kurudzira this zanu irikungo failer

  3. farai j nhire unondishamisa. you are very trained in lying

  4. people do not want the truth to be told

  5. people don’t want the truth to be told

  6. its a planted speech and from the tone of wording misleading facts and so forth every neutral knows who the author of that script is and one will not mention names but for those familiar with zim politics we feel pity for moss who was made to read a paper which made a fool of himself

  7. What America is a saying what we all know. Remove Zanu PF because it has an independent mind, the party believes in sovereignty.

    That as it may be the onus to develop Zimbabwe rests with the people of Zimbabwe. Mboko dzakaita sana Biti thinks that it is the reverse. This goes to show how callous and vindictive the opposition’s politics is. The wipe the Western Country’s behind in an effort to diminish the Zanu PF party.

  8. nhire you must stop displaying you stupidity here. are you not ashamed of you stupid utterance?

  9. Comment…thez no transformation of Zim under these hooligans and economic suppressor mafias..who are full of shit

  10. Your Name (required):Special Black

    If sanctions have nothing to do with Zim economy why sticking on them? Mawana ndisina mari taiipedzerana apa guys.

  11. AS LONG AS THERE IS ZANU, NOTHING MEANINGFUL WILL EVER COME OUT. RIGGING, MURDERING, LOOTING, LYING IS IN ZANU’S BLOOD. ITS A CURSE TO HAVE THIS VAMPIRE OF A PARTY GOVERNING OUR COUNTRY. USA MU7T MAINTAIN THOSE TARGETED SANCTIONS. ZANU THIEVES ARE WAITING FOR THE TARGETED SANCTIONS TO BE REMOVED SO THEY CAN LOOT AND THE ILLGOTTEN WEALTH IN EUROPE. ZANU IS EVIL.

  12. We all now the American agenda as evidenced by the way it dishes out sanctions for its own benefits. The Moss guy and those supporting the sanctions are only championing the
    the American cause.

  13. Nhema, nhamo ,kushungurudza ,kuuraya,kuba nehuori ndo DNA yeZanu …chero mwana ane 10yrs knows why we are suffering in this country vana Nhira murikunyepa for your own benefite but deep down you know the truth ..apawo moda kungonzi munogona kutaura but you’re coached tozviziva ndokunobva musuva …chinyeperayi ka economy zvinhu zvinake

  14. If there are sanctions that are stopping them from doing what they are supposed to, where is the 2,1 million coming from to buy the cabinet cars?

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