BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the alleged economic sanctions imposed on the country by Western countries should no longer continue to hinder government’s economic turnaround plans.
Speaking in Gweru yesterday at the wings presentation and commissioning parade for number 68 pilot training course at Josiah Tungamirai Air Force Base, Mnangagwa said there was need to remain focused to achieve the country’s set goals.
“My government has taken the position that the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe must no longer hold us back in our quest to leapfrog our socio-economic development,” Mnangagwa said.
“Let us, therefore, maintain focus towards the realisation of the goals we have set ourselves with regards to modernisation, industrialisation and growth of every facet of our great country.”
Since he took over power from the later former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017, Mnangagwa has been shifting goalposts on the impact of the sanctions on the country’s economic development.
Soon after assuming power, the Zanu PF leader reiterated on many occasions that Zimbabwe should not continue to blame its economic problems on sanctions but instead craft solutions to revive the ailing economy.
But after winning the 2018 elections, whose results were widely disputed by the main opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, Mnangagwa backtracked on his earlier sentiment and blamed Zimbabwe’s collapsed economy on the economic embargo.
For over a decade, Western countries led by the United States and Britain have maintained what they term “targeted sanctions” particularly on Zanu PF officials and influential business people linked to the ruling party over alleged human rights abuses, corruption and electoral fraud.