ZIMBABWE’s aspirations and the professed wish by the United States to see the country’s economy flourish cannot be realized as long as the debilitating illegal sanctions that were imposed by Western nations at the turn of the millennium remain in place, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Professor Amon Murwira said.
Speaking at the reception to mark the 246 Independence of the US, Professor Murwira said both countries are losing so many investment opportunities because of the baneful sanctions that were imposed as punishment for the historic Land Reform programme that redressed colonial land inequities.
In his address yesterday, Prof Murwira told the Chargé d’Affaires of the US Mr Ave Lallemant, American citizens based in Zimbabwe and officials from the US embassy that just like the America, Zimbabwe was founded on the values and principles that include the right to life, liberty, and dignity.
“I believe that our aspirations for a better Zimbabwe and your wish for its economy to flourish cannot be realized if Zimbabwe continues to be hamstrung by the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera) and the Presidential Executive Orders on Zimbabwe.
“I am aware that our USA partners may not share our view on this, but the reality is that these measures are damaging our economy and hurting Zimbabweans something which the United Nations, our world body, has documented. We are convinced that these measures are neither in the interest of Zimbabwe nor the USA. Both countries are missing out on many opportunities for trade and investment.”
The cost to the economy of the illegal unilateral sanctions on Zimbabwe has since ballooned to over US$100 billion and it is the ordinary person who has suffered from the full brunt of the embargoes that restrict international companies to invest in the country among a host of other restrictions that curtail trade and commerce.
Prof Murwira said the removal of sanctions will help not Zimbabwe but also the US which can grab opportunities that have been brought by President Mnangagwa under his “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra as well as the Re-engagement and Engagement policy.
“I trust you will agree with me that our two countries and peoples can reap huge benefits from the limitless possibilities that exist in bilateral co-operation. Famous brands of products and services from the USA, some of which are displayed here today have a huge footprint in our country, including in food and beverages, clothing and footwear, vehicles agriculture, Information Communication Technology, life and health as well as Music and Films have a huge footprint in our country.
“They have transformed the lives of millions of people and brought a lot of joy to many. The John Deere deal to supply agricultural equipment to Zimbabwe and the Kanyemba Logistics Hub are examples of what is possible in terms of economic cooperation between our two countries. Other US companies are welcome to invest in all sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy and do business with Zimbabwe.”
He said just as the union of the US has stood the test of time, Zimbabwe at 42 has also weathered many storms and is making progress on several fronts to improve the lives and livelihoods of its people.
The US sanctions on Zimbabwe have been condemned by most of the world’s progressive nations with SADC going a step further in declaring October 25 the Anti-Sanctions Day.