Has Zimbabwe lost more than US$100 billion due to sanctions?


Zimbabwe is reported to have lost more than US$70 billion because of sanctions that were imposed on the country by the United States and the European Union nearly 20 years ago, according to State media.

But the breakdown given by the Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo adds up to US$111 billion.

The Minister was quoted by the State media as saying: “It is estimated, for those who have done the studies, that Zimbabwe has lost an estimated US$42 billion in revenue because of the sanctions.

“The country lost multi-lateral donor support which is estimated at about US$4.5 billion annually since 2001 and US$12 billion in the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank loans which could have developed infrastructure in this country and commercial loans estimated at US$18 billion which could have gone to the private sector and into other areas and as a result of that, a reduction of GDP of over US$21 billion.”

At US$4.5 billion a year, this comes to US$81 billion over the past 18 years. With the amount lost to the International Finance Institutions and the commercial sector this adds up to US$111 billion.

The European Union has lifted sanctions on most individuals in Zimbabwe except former President Robert Mugabe and his wife as well as the Zimbabwe Defence Industries. Sanctions against the former service chiefs are still in place but were suspended.

The United States, however, maintains sanctions on 141 individuals and entities. It argues that the sanctions do not affect ordinary Zimbabweans because they are “targeted” but they do.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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