Obama extends sanctions against Zimbabwe before leaving office

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United States outgoing President Barack Obama has extended sanctions against Zimbabwe for another year last Friday according to media reports.

The sanctions, which have been reviewed annually, targeted members of President Mugabe’s inner circle, the military top brass and associated companies accused of undermining democracy in the country according to new Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s opposition party has welcomed the move but the ruling party ZANU PF has called it inconsequential since the Obama government is soon to leave office.

“It is a very good move but sadly these sanctions have not had the impact that was expected by the people because our understanding was that these sanctions were a travel ban but you will find that Mugabe is all over New York,” said MDC-T deputy spokesperson and Bulawayo East legislator Thabitha Khumalo.

The hostile move was also extended due to Washington’s national emergency policies at perceived threats in Zimbabwe among other countries including Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Ukraine and other countries that support terrorism.

According to New Zimbabwe, the US in 2001 enacted the controversial Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) in attempts to force a change of behaviour by the Harare regime. At a time when invasions on white owned land by President Mugabe’s militant followers were high, as well as poll theft and rights abuses.

“A new (Donald) Trump administration is taking over (this) week and that presents an opportunity for the US and Zimbabwe to reset their relationship and re-engage in pursuit of mutual interests. This calls for a new pragmatism. It’s better to be optimistic about that prospect than to worry about Obama whose approach to Africa has been shameful and disastrous.” Said Former Information Minister and now Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo

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