Tsvangirai tells Washington to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe so that Mugabe has no excuse for failing economy


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Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai has told the United States to lift its sanctions on Zimbabwe so that President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front have no excuses to make their failing economic and political policies.

Tsvangirai who is in the United States told the government-owned propaganda station Voice of America: “There are two approaches. The United States maintains a hardline position. The European Union has relaxed it (sanctions), but they have said that the travel ban will still retain on the president and his wife. But everyone else has been removed.  So, as far as I am concerned, sanctions must never be used as an excuse for the failure of economic and political policies in the country. And that’s why for us, removing these things (sanctions) will actually create condition where ZANU-PF has no excuse forever.”

VOA was set up as a propaganda station soon after the Second World War and was prohibited from broadcasting to United States citizens though it transmits from Washington DC.

The European Union has eased sanctions on all Zimbabwean individuals and companies except President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

President Barack Obama this month renewed US sanctions on Zimbabwe “to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions”. 

“These actions and policies had contributed to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Zimbabwe, to politically motivated violence and intimidation in that country, and to political and economic instability in the southern African region,” Obama said in his proclamation.

Zimbabwe says sanctions have cost it US$42 billion.

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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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