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End sanctions on Zimbabwe, SADC says

By TONDERAYI MUKEREDZI in Harare  | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-10-26 21:41

The Southern African Development Community said on Monday sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and some Western countries are hindering the country's prospects for economic recovery and should be lifted forthwith. 

In a message to mark Anti-Sanctions Day, which the SADC earmarked for October 25 to show solidarity with Zimbabwe, Lazarus Chakwera, the Malawi president and incumbent SADC chairperson, said the bloc disapproved of prolonged sanctions on Zimbabwe. 

"The sanctions increase the perception of Zimbabwe as being in a high-risk category, thereby diminishing the credibility of investment and investor confidence, while exacerbating investment risks. This further diminishes the country's prospects of obtaining impactful foreign direct investment and serves as a deterrent for economic emancipation, growth and stability," Chakwera said in a statement.  

"As a region, we remain adamant the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, whether targeted or restrictive, are a fundamental constraint and hindrance to the country's prospects of economic recovery, human security and sustainable growth."

Members of Zimbabwe's Parliament who were meeting in Victoria Falls for pre-budget consultations also added their voices to clarion calls for the removal of the embargo. 

The MPs said the sanctions were hampering the private sector from accessing international markets and international credit, forcing them to use expensive alternatives. 

Recently Kazembe Kazembe, the minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, informed Parliament that $2 million which had been processed for national identity cards and passports consumables could not go through because of the illegal embargo. 

Zimbollar, an economic research company, said because of the embargo foreign banks had derisked their relationship with banks operating in perceived high-risk jurisdictions, making it extremely difficult for Zimbabwean banks to make payments and move capital for clients. 

Despite the evident impact of the sanctions, the US and United Kingdom embassies in Harare on Monday said on Twitter authorities were using sanctions as a scapegoat to mask the real reasons behind Zimbabwe's challenges, and the embargo did not stop trade between Zimbabwe and their countries.

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