14 March 2012

Zimbabwe: Prime Minister Wants Sanctions to Go

Photo: Morgan Tsvangirai
Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday told the House of Assembly that he wanted every individual and entity on the sanctions list removed. He acknowledged that the illegal embargo by the West had brought economic challenges.

The European Union and Australia have removed some individuals and entities from their sanctions lists.

The West and its allies imposed sanctions in response to Zimbabwe's land reform programme. PM Tsvangirai made the remarks while responding to a question by Zanu-PF Zvishavane-Runde representative Cde Larry Mavima on what Government was doing to engage the US government over sanctions since talks with EU were now on the table.

The US passed the Zimbabwe Economic Recovery and Democracy Act in 2001, which bars Zimbabwe from accessing fiscal support from multi-lateral institutions and puts the return to pre-1999 land tenure systems as a pre-condition for its repeal.

"Time has come for us to look at them because they do, to some extent affect our economic performance. It is not just a selective removal of people that we want but everyone affected provided we do not repeat what caused those things in the first place," said PM Tsvangirai.

The MDC-T has issued conflicting statements in the past on the issue of illegal sanctions with some of its members insisting that they were targeted and had no bearing to the economic problems Zimbabwe has faced in the past decade.

The party's secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti was quoted by whistleblower website Wikileaks in consultation with the EU that he supported a gradual removal of sanctions to ensure that his party retains leverage over Zanu-PF. Meanwhile Mwenezi East House of Assembly representative Cde

Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said it was possible to hold elections this year under the current constitution.

Cde Bhasikiti also said Zimbabwe will co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference with Zambia next year and said an election would provide a counter attraction if held next year.

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