United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols, says the Zimbabwe government should implement the necessary reforms in order for America to lift targeted sanctions imposed on some Zanu PF members over human rights violations.
The Zimbabwe Government is set to hold an anti-sanctions music gala over the weekend with the intention of lobbying for the removal of the targeted sanctions which they blame on the country’s economic downturn.
In an interview, Nichols said the government’s anti-sanctions campaign backed by regional body Southern African Development Community (SADC) won’t help if there are no tangible reforms in the country.
“The SADC anti-sanctions campaign, orchestrated by the government of Zimbabwe, is really an effort to distract the people of Zimbabwe from the real causes of Zimbabwe’s profound problems.
“The government of Zimbabwe would be better served by focusing on its efforts on implementing reforms that it campaigned on, that is to say deepening democracy, combating corruption, increasing respect for human rights and opening up the economy for transparent trade and investment. Those are things that will make average Zimbabwean’s lives better.” said Nichols
He said less than 100 Zimbabweans are on the targeted sanctions, which were imposed in 2003 following alleged human rights violations and election rigging.
“I think it’s important to stress that the United States does not have sanctions against the economy or people of Zimbabwe. Our sanctions target those who engage in corruption, violate human rights and undermine democratic processes in Zimbabwe. In fact, our sanctions have only 83 individuals and 37 entities, that is to say companies or organizations linked to those people that have either committed human rights abuses or engaged in corruption. They undermine democratic spaces here in Zimbabwe, that is our concern and we are trying to point out that feeling in our program of targeted sanctions.”
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