US sanctions minister amid Zimbabwe protests
28 October 2019 | International
It called on Zimbabwe's government to “hold accountable officials responsible for human rights violations”.
The announcement came the same day that thousands marched in Zimbabwe against US and EU sanctions.
Both the US and EU say the sanctions have been imposed on individuals and companies and have no impact on the economy.
“State-sanctioned violence creates a culture of impunity for human rights abusers,” the state department said. Zimbabwe's government made Friday a public holiday and provided buses for anti-sanctions marchers.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly told crowds the sanctions are “neither smart nor targeted”.
“Their impact on our daily lives is immeasurable and the consequences are dire,” he added.
But critics argue the president is trying to distract people from a deep economic crisis that has sent inflation soaring and caused incomes to plummet.
Fewer people than expected turned up to the main protest, with only 15-20,000 people in a stadium with a capacity of 60,000.