By Moses Nyirenda, MANA
Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called on the United States of America (USA) to immediately rescind the economic sanctions placed on Zimbabwe since 2001.
Speaking on Friday during a joint press briefing by SADC Heads of Mission in Malawi at the High Commission of Mozambique in Lilongwe, acting Ambassador of Zimbabwe, Mfaro Charambira, said the economic sanctions are negatively affecting economic growth of Zimbabwe.
“For almost two decades, unilateral economic sanctions have stunned the economic growth of Zimbabwe and limited the overall prosperity of the Zimbabwean people,” Charambira said.
“Zimbabwe, like many African nations, continues to bear the brunt of multiple global challenges, which is affecting the country’s economic growth.
“For example, the severe economic downturn caused by COVID-19 pandemic has seriously limited the government’s ability to effectively fund public services, maintain welfare programs and invest in its struggling industries.”
He added that the Zimbabwe Government currently fails to access multilateral funds from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) due to the sanctions.
Charambira said Zimbabwe needs to be given space to effectively respond to the many challenges it faces.
He further said under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe is undertaking extensive and courageous political and economic reforms aimed at enhancing governance, operational transparency and ease of doing business on various global indexes.
In a letter addressed to the US Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo — signed by chairperson of SADC Council of Ministers, Veronica Nataniel Macamo DIhovo — stated that Zimbabwe would prosper once the sanctions have been removed.
“As SADC, we believe that Zimbabwe will prosper if the sanctions have been removed, we also strongly believe that when Zimbabwe prospers, SADC and Africa also prosper, and when SADC and Africa prosper, so does the world.
“We, therefore, appeal to you, Mr. Secretary and through the Government of USA, to immediately lift the unilateral sanctions on Zimbabwe so that it may prosper in the face of the current challenges, thus contributing to the development of the SADC region as a whole,” reads part of the letter.