Trump shows SADC the middle finger

07 March 2019 | International

US president Donald Trump has renewed sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by another year, snubbing SADC leaders, including current regional bloc chairperson President Hage Geingob, who has called for an end to the sanctions.

Geingob said in February the regional bloc had received a briefing from Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa on the current political and socio-economic developments in the neighbouring country. “The SADC Heads of State and Government further noted that the (Zimbabwean) government's efforts to transform the economy and bring about prosperity to the people of Zimbabwe are negatively affected by the illegal sanctions that were imposed on the country since the early 2000,” Geingob said in a statement.

“SADC expresses its solidarity with the government and the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and calls upon the international community to unconditionally lift all sanctions imposed on the country.”



The US first imposed the measures in 2003 and renewed them in 2005 and 2008 under America's International Emergency Economic Powers Act.



It has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwean officials including President Mnangagwa and says certain human rights reforms are needed to lift them.



Zimbabwe finance minister Mthuli Ncube recently told a reporter: “We don't need to be told by anyone that we need to do better on human rights or open up democratic space... we need to do it for ourselves.”



Trump said on Monday that Zimbabwe had not implemented promised reforms.



The extension of the sanctions effectively rules out the possibility of a US bailout for Zimbabwe.



In a letter to the US Senate, Trump accused Mnangagwa of running a flawed election.



This was in reference to the contested July 2018 poll that MDC leader Nelson Chamisa claims he won.



The continuation of the sanctions also follow Mnangagwa's recent military crackdown on protests over a crippling fuel hike. At least 17 people were reportedly killed.



In his strongly worded letter Trump claimed the actions of the government of Zimbabwe continued “to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions” and “pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the US”.



Botswana's government recently denied reports that it will provide a US$600m credit facility to debt-ridden Zimbabwe, dealing a new blow to Mnangagwa's efforts to jumpstart the country's ailing economy.



Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade, marked by high inflation, which peaked above 50% in January, and acute shortages of foreign currency. The country owes the World Bank US$1.4 billion, as well as the African Development Bank and other international creditors.



It is seeking financial bailouts from its SADC neighbours as it is blacklisted by multilateral lenders, including the World Bank and IMF. Its international debt stands at U$10bn.



Zimbabwe reportedly requested US$1.2 billion in emergency credit from South Africa, but was turned down.



In February, Geingob said the SADC Heads of State and Government had also noted that the government has commenced dialogue with all stakeholders in the country, with a view to strengthening economic transformation. He called on all stakeholders to support the process.



The Namibian head of state had also lambasted what he called “some internal groups, in particular NGOs, supported by external forces”, who he said have continued with efforts to destabilise the country”.



“The SADC Heads of State and Government also noted that in an effort to address the economic challenges in the country, the (Zimbabwean) government recently increased fuel prices. Unfortunately, violent demonstrators rode on the back of increases in fuel prices, to implement their intention to destabilise the country. The demonstrations resulted in the destruction of property and loss of life. SADC condemns, in the strongest terms, the violence that ensued, and expresses sympathy with the affected families for the loss of their loved ones and their properties.”



Also earlier this year, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said his country also favours the lifting or easing of international sanctions on Zimbabwe.



Ramaphosa spoke on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying Zimbabwe faces “serious, serious, economic challenges and they can be assisted by the world if those sanctions are lifted”.

-Additional reporting by Business Day

STAFF REPORTER

Similar News

 

Idai wreaks havoc

1 day - 20 March 2019 | International

More than 1 000 people were feared dead in Mozambique four days after a cyclone slammed into the country, submerging entire villages and leaving bodies...

Trump shows SADC the middle finger

2 weeks ago - 07 March 2019 | International

US president Donald Trump has renewed sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by another year, snubbing SADC leaders, including current regional bloc chairperson President Hage Geingob, who...

On the road to recovery

3 weeks ago - 28 February 2019 | International

The newly elected president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Felix Tshisekedi, says his government's first priority is to bring peace and stability to...

Geingob castigated over Zim

4 weeks ago - 21 February 2019 | International

The 'Concerned Citizens of Zimbabwe' has criticised President Hage Geingob for his recent statement on the political and socio-economic situation in the neighbouring country.During a...

It must be win-win, Mr Ambassador - Venaani

1 month - 12 February 2019 | International

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani says there is a need for an overhaul of China-Namibia relations, so that Namibia benefits as an equal...

SADC breaks silence on Zim

1 month - 12 February 2019 | International

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has finally made a statement on the situation in Zimbabwe, which is experiencing a crumbling economy, human rights violations...

Humanitarian aid used as weapon in Maduro-Guaido conflict

1 month - 11 February 2019 | International

Desperately needed aid being stockpiled at Venezuela's door is at the heart of a political duel between the two men fighting to lead the oil-rich...

Quiet diplomacy is not working

1 month - 05 February 2019 | International

SADC's quiet diplomacy is not helping the situation in Zimbabwe and the regional body must publicly condemn the human rights violations and address the legitimacy...

Guaido vs Maduro

1 month - 04 February 2019 | International

Buoyed by the defection of a top general, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido predicted Saturday the month of February would be “decisive” in determining the...

El Chapo drugged and raped teenage girls, witness claims

1 month - 04 February 2019 | International

A witness in the trial of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman told the US government the Mexican drug kingpin drugged and raped girls as young as...

Latest News

Millions unaccounted for at NDC,...

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Economics

The Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) has failed to submit documentary evidence to prove how it spent N$90.1 million between 2015 and 2017, the latest report...

Aluta continua!

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Columns

Tomorrow is without doubt a significant day in our national history, as we pause to celebrate the spirit of our forefathers and struggle heroes and...

Africa Briefs

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Economics

No end date for Eskom’s power cutsSouth Africa's public enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday he cannot say yet when rolling blackouts will end, as...

Cob plundering suspects nabbed

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Crime

Leandrea Louw Two men arrested on Saturday for allegedly being in possession of 60 large cob made their first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s...

Unfinished pipeline impacts 7 000...

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Infrastructure

About 6 932 people and 33 790 large and 18 395 small stock units are facing thirst, as the agriculture ministry battles to finish the...

Apple unveils new iPad, updates...

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Technology

Sonam RaiApple Inc, in a surprise move on Monday, launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini ahead of a March 25...

Climate change and productivity

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Agriculture

Climate change is a long-term change in climatic/weather patterns of the earth or region. Such change is observed in temperature and rainfall patterns, amongst others....

Palladium hits record high

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Business

Palladium surged to a record yesterday as the risk of a ban on some Russian exports added to supply concerns for the autocatalyst metal. Spot...

State supports non-compliant security firms

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Business

Employers and trade unions agree that one of the major issues facing the Namibian security services industry is that some government institutions continue to appoint...

Load More