PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has done little to persuade the United States to remove damaging sanctions slapped on Zimbabwe 20 years ago, political scientists said yesterday, as Washington extended the embargo by one year.
As he extended the embargo, US President Joe Biden reiterated this week that the actions and policies of Zimbabwe’s government were continuing to contribute to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law.
He said authorities’ actions had also triggered politically motivated violence and intimidation, while economic instability had deepened.
“For this reason, the national emergency declared on March 6, 2003, and the measures adopted on that date, on November 22, 2005, and on July 25, 2008, to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond March 6, 2023,” Biden said.
“Therefore, in accordance with Section 202 (d) of the National Emergencies Act…I am continuing for one year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288,” he added.
However, political analysts told the Zimbabwe Independent that instead of acting on promises for political reforms, Zimbabwe was doing the opposite, such as coming up with fresh Bills that undermine democracy.
Private Voluntary Organisaton (PVO) Amendment Bill, the Patriotic Bill and other undemocratic practices. This in turn makes the lifting of sanctions definitely difficult,” he said.
Maxwell Saungweme, a Harare-based political analyst, said the fact that Washington was extending sanction proves that the embargo was not working.
“They (sanctions) do not work and are not working to elicit their desired objectives — behaviour change by the regime or exacerbating citizen exasperation at the regime and trigger citizen driven regime change,” he said.