17 April 2009

Zimbabwe: No End to Sanctions Without Rule of Law

Speaking to journalists after the meeting Mutambara said the US insists that targeted sanctions against the ruling elite will not be lifted, until clear signs of progress in the unity government and around the rule of law.

Mutambara is quoted as saying: "The Americans are concerned about our misbehaviour, about transgressions against ourselves. They are very keen to see results around the inclusive nature of this government. They want to see an effective implementation of the outstanding matters in the Global Political Agreement."

The political prisoners who are still in detention and the continuing violent farm invasions are just two of the key issues that indicate that the MDC still has no real power. But Mutambara insists the US should lift the targeted sanction, even though little progress is evident on the ground. "So I told McGee and his friend that you must be careful as you deny us assistance, as you deny us credit line and investment, you are actually playing into the hands of those hawks and those foolish people who are undermining this government because their desire is to see a collapse."

The lifting of the targeted sanctions appears to be Mugabe's only interest in going along with the unity government. Speaking to the state owned television broadcaster ahead of the independence day celebrations, he once again went on about the importance of lifting the sanctions while urging the nation to be 'patient' with the MDC, saying they have 'psychological difficulties' over the sanctions and should be helped to get over that.

Meanwhile the United States embassy in Harare announced on Thursday the lifting of travel warnings, issued to American citizens in 2002, about Zimbabwe. Whether this will improve the tourism situation in Zimbabwe remains to be seen.

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