The United States and the EU have been locked with Zimbabwe in a state of no-business-as-usual following President Robert Mugabe highly disputed re-election into power back in 2002. The controversial election led to both the US and the EU imposing sanctions against Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe, top government officials, security chiefs and parastatal companies.
However, over the years, the EU has steadily loosened its stand and eased the embargo fromas early as 2009 when Mugabe agreed to form an inclusive government that later collapsed in 2013. Zimbabwe has been noted to have undergone some reforms in the recent past, including the passing of a new Constitution. A development that gave the EU more reasons to loosen further nose on the aid to the southern Africa country.
But the US is still yet to find any reason to remove the sanctions on Zimbabwe. USPresident Barack Obama today said that Washington was extending sanctions imposed on President Mugabe and his associate for what he termed their continued endeavors to “undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes.”
In a statement, President Obama said, “The threat constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic process or institutions has not been resolved.
These actions and policies continue to pose an unusual, extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the US. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue this national emergency and to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat.”
President Mugabe has been accused by many Western countries of human rights violations and engaging in electoral theft. Since 2000, the southern African countries has held several disputed elections following a growing opposition to President Mugabe, who is now 91 years old. He has served as the country’s only president since 1980 when, Zimbabwe got its independence from Britain in 1980.
Zimbabwean government officials including the President, blame Western countries for the country’s collapsed economy, saying that the sanctions are unjustified.
Zimbabwe Minister of War Veterans said in reference to the sanctions, “This is arrogance of the highest order. There is no justification whatsoever for the US to extend these sanctions and in any case, they are not hurting President Mugabe but ordinary Zimbabweans. I urge Washington to reconsider its position for the development of ordinary Zimbabweans.”
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