New Zimbabwe (London)

Zimbabwe, U.S. Not Talking - Chinamasa

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has revealed that relations between Zimbabwe and the United States are severely strained to the extent that the both countries are "not talking".

Chinamasa, who was responding in Parliament to a question on whether the government was negotiating with the US to improve the availability and accessibility of US dollars in the country, said "no talks were taking place between the two governments".

Zimbabwe dollarised its economy in 2009 through the adoption of a basket of currencies with the US dollar being most commonly used.

"The US has imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe. We are not both politically and economically on talking terms. We cannot talk to them about economic issues when they imposed sanctions on us," Chinamasa said.

The US slapped Zimbabwe with an embargo over a decade ago citing alleged rights abuses and election fraud.

President Robert Mugabe however believes the country was being punished for its land reform programme which saw large tracts of prime agricultural land taken from the white minority and redistributed to the black majority.

Chinamasa said that liquidity constraints which the economy continued to face would persist until programmes were implemented to improve the situation.

The liquidity crunch has grossly impacted on economic recovery, as industries struggle to improve production while product demand is depressed due to low disposable income.

He said Zimbabwe could only improve its situation through borrowing, foreign direct investment, lines of credit and boosting its exports.

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