via We’ve defeated sanctions: Mugabe. newzimbabwe.com 17 June 2014
STRUGGLING Zimbabweans may now expect their decade-long anguish to abate after President Robert Mugabe triumphantly declared that sanctions imposed by the West – by his reckoning the sole cause of the country’s economic problems – had been defeated.
The 90 year-old leader delivered his version of George W Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” boast in far-away Bolivia during the G-77+China summit held last weekend.
However, speaking in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the Zanu PF leader told Iranian Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, that he had managed to “ward off pressures” brought by the sanctions.
“The sanctions are getting defeated domestically and to the extent that our allies are supporting us internationally,” he said.
At home, Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have long spun a different narrative, blaming the sanctions for all ills buffeting the country.
In March this year, Mugabe was blaming the same sanctions for his government’s failure to honour salary promises made to civil servants while he was campaigning for re-election last July.
“We are currently going through a difficult patch as a result of the sanctions that were imposed on us,” Mugabe told guests to one of three parties organised to celebrate his birthday.
The sanctions were imposed by the West due to violations of human rights and electoral fraud, allegations which Mugabe denies, insisting he was punished for his land reforms.
However, US envoy Bruce Wharton said Zimbabwe’s political and economic problems were self-made and not related to the sanctions.
Speaking in February, he reminded Harare that the country was not under sanctions in 1997 when the Zim Dollar crashed, losing 71,5% of its value, after Mugabe’s government made unbudgeted payments to war veterans.
Wharton also pointed out that economic gains registered under the coalition government were achieved with the sanctions still in place.