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Masisi calls for Zimbabwe sanctions removal

by Staff reporter
29 Feb 2020 at 07:10hrs | Views
Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and its Western allies are not only suffocating Harare's economy, but also regional development and should be unconditionally removed, Botswana President Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi has said.
In his remarks at a State Banquet he hosted in President Mnangagwa's honour on Thursday, Dr Masisi said sanctions were eroding investor confidence and impacting on economic revival.

"I also reiterate that Botswana, specifically Botswana, strongly appeals for the repeal of the Zimbabwe Democracy Recovery and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera) and the targeted sanctions programme imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States," he said.

"We do so fully cognisant of the debilitating impact of sanctions on the economy, her (Zimbabwean) citizens and undoubtedly the economies of the neighbouring countries such as Botswana.

"The effects of the sanctions are far-reaching. They do not only deny Zimbabwe the dignity and pride it deserves, but also erodes investor confidence, which is essential for the country's economy to flourish."

In the context of the United Nations global development agenda under the auspices of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr Masisi said it was hypocritical for world leaders to expect Zimbabwe to transform the economy when it remained under the yoke of illegal sanctions. Zimbabwe was slapped with sanctions at the turn of the millennium after redistributing land to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.

"I, in my own way, wonder how we can commit to SDGs while denying Zimbabwean children and its people a fighting chance to realise the SDGs," said Dr Masisi.

"The neighbouring Botswana looks forward to Zimbabwe's economic recovery. This will be a boom for Botswana and the entire region because of the linkages between our neighbouring economies."

Dr Masisi commended President Mnangagwa for ongoing socio-economic and political reforms meant to steer the country to prosperity. He noted, in particular, the noble drive towards achieving political stability through engaging opposition parties towards national dialogue under the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD).

Dr Masisi said President Mnangagwa had been a good steward of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation since he became chairman last August. In response, President Mnangagwa said sanctions continued to weigh heavily on national development efforts.

He said Zimbabwe was not burying its head in the sand and will strive to accelerate development in line with Vision 2030 of attaining an upper middle income economy and the aspirations of the SDGs Agenda 2030, and the African Union's Agenda 2063.

"With friends such as Botswana and others who continue to stand with us during difficult times, no challenges are insurmountable," said President Mnangagwa.

He paid tribute to Botswana and the SADC regional leadership for backing Zimbabwe's call for the unconditional removal of sanctions in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.

As chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Zimbabwe, through President Mnangagwa, has coordinated elections in Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia and Mauritius.

As incoming chair of the organ, Dr Masisi said Botswana looked up to Zimbabwe for guidance and support. President Mnangagwa and his ministerial delegation were in the resort town of Maun to attend the 2nd session of the Botswana-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC), which ended yesterday. The conference was a follow-up on the inaugural session held in Harare last year.

Source - the herald