United States confesses | The Herald

via United States confesses | The Herald November 7, 2013 by Herald Reporters

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THE United States has admitted it imposed illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday.

Minister Chinamasa, who was  responding to a question on the terms of agreement Zimbabwe has with the IMF under the institution’s Staff Monitored Programme, told the National Assembly that the US government made the admission in meetings he had with officials during his recent visit to Washington.

“As far as I am concerned, we want economies to talk to each other irrespective of our political differences,” he said.

“Actually, during the meetings we had some of the people, they were from the State Department and when I asked them to remove the sanctions, they did not deny that they imposed them, but they gave their reasons on why they are not removing them.

“It is surprising when Zimbabweans themselves who are suffering say that there are no sanctions when those who imposed them are not denying that they imposed them. The argument now is when can they lift them.”

Minister Chinamasa urged Zimbabweans to portray their country positively to ensure a good image to potential investors.

He said the country’s failure to service its debt made it difficult to access further funding and because of that the country had entered into a Staff Monitored Programme under the IMF.

Under the programme, the Government is expected to address macro-economic fundamentals around transparency in minerals’ trade and restructuring of the budget to ensure more resources are allocated for capital projects.

Earlier on, Minister Chinamasa had told the IMF delegation that the fund’s insistence that Zimbabwe must first clear its arrears to unlock financial support was counter-productive.

Zimbabwe, he said, was committed to the implementation of the IMF staff monitored programme as part of initial steps towards full re-engagement with the multi-lateral institution.

But he said officials at the fund should be open-minded and flexible in dealing with the unique situation Zimbabwe finds itself in and consider extending financial support to help the country address its protracted economic problems.

Zimbabwe has not been able to access financial assistance from the IMF since the turn of the millennium as the US sanctions law, the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, and its successor, the Zimbabwe Transition to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, cut the country’s lines of credit from multi-lateral lending institutions with dealings with the US.

The resultant fiscal crunch saw Zimbabwe default on loans from other international lenders and its accumulated external debt has shot up to US$11 billion, with US$4 billion of that being arrears.

“What we have conveyed to them is that we would want to see a relationship that addresses growth (and) attention to the productive sectors.

“We are committed to engaging the Bretton Woods institutions over clearance of our debt so that we get to a point where we are able to enjoy the benefits of our membership.

“We are a member, a serious member and want to engage very constructively and seriously. So, we welcome them for their review. This is the review for end of June and they also obviously will look at the outlook for the 2014 National Budget.”

IMF mission chief of delegation Mr Alfredo Cuevas said they were in Zimbabwe in line with the statutory requirements of the fund.

“We are here to analyse economic policy over the last nine months, analyse economic development over the course of 2013 in the context of the (IMF) staff monitored programme,” he said.

“This is the first programme we have had in Zimbabwe in more than a decade. We are trying to look at how we can continue the conversation over the next two weeks and see what performance we will find under the staff monitored programme.”



  • comment-avatar
    William Doctor 9 years ago

    The sanctions aren’t illegal, and they target a small group of people [all of zanu ofcourse] not the country. They extend to preventing aid to farms where former farmers have not been compensated, which is understandable, and they restrict business partnerships with a very small group of zanu chefs – for human rights abuse and electoral fraud.

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      Chivulamapoti 9 years ago

      Not Chef (that’s a cook), you mean Chief!

      • comment-avatar
        William Doctor 9 years ago

        @ Chivilamapoti

        Nope, the Zimbabwean vernacular for ‘chef’ is different, it is based on chief, but additionally implies corruption, incompetence, electoral fraud and so on. It is used commonly in the independent media when referring to Zanu ‘bigwigs’. Pretty much the same morons listed on the US, EU sanctions list.

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        It is CHEFF …double FF….one for too much FOOD and one for too much FINANCE…or waaateeeva!

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    Chivulamapoti 9 years ago

    Fungi, all you need is an Internet connection and Google Search, is it that hard? I did it for you –

    Fact: U.S. sanctions apply to fewer than 120 Zimbabwean individuals

    Fact: After the U.S. government first applied targeted sanctions in 2003, bilateral trade between Zimbabwe and the U.S. doubled over the next five years.

    Fact: Zimbabwe had stopped servicing its debts and was therefore unable to borrow from the World Bank and IMF before the U.S. imposed sanctions.

    Myth: “The U.S. maintains an embargo on Zimbabwe.”

    The reality is that Zimbabwe’s trade with the U.S. is growing. In 2009 and 2010, annual U.S. goods exports to Zimbabwe were 30 percent higher than the 2000-08 average.

    Myth: “The U.S. blocks Zimbabwe’s access to multilateral loans.”

    In reality, Zimbabwe cannot borrow from the IMF, World Bank, or African Development Bank because it stopped servicing its debts to those institutions more than 10 years ago.

    Myth: “ZDERA ruined Zimbabwe’s economy.”

    The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 has had no effect on Zimbabwe’s economy and is not related to targeted sanctions. Read what ZDERA says (PDF 40KB)

    Myth: “The U.S. has cut off aid to Zimbabwe.”

    The U.S. has provided over $1.4 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe since 2001.

    NOW – all of you, get over this “Boo Hoo, those nasty USA, UK and EU whities are sanctioning us, Boo, Hoo’ mentality, grow up!

    • comment-avatar
      Rudadiso 9 years ago

      Great summation Chivulamapoti. To be precise, we stopped servicing our Bretton Woods institution debts in 1997. Surprisingly, our army was in the DRC. It cost more than a million dollars a day to keep it there. Lives and military hardware were lost over Mugabe’s desire to keep an un-elected president in power.

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    nesbert majoni 9 years ago

    Well if zanu pf want the so called sanctions to be removed why dont they start treating fellow zimbabweans like equals to them. Why do they treat other zimbabweans like second class citizens.As long as you dont repent the sanctions will remain

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    Nyoni 9 years ago

    If sanctions is an issue for the “Zimbabwean government”then why not try to resolve the issue. Blaming everyone else for your own incompetence wont resolve the problems our country is facing.

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    maisokwazo 9 years ago

    You see where the problem is and it never seem to be going away easily. Look at the Herald headline “USA confesses “The misrepresentation by ZANU mouthpiece is nauseating. USA will never confess to a bogus regime no not the United States of America. In fact it is this bogus regime that must confess that they are sorry for stealing the elections ,that they are sorry to publicly state that their Look East sentiments were frivolous and ill conceived as nothing is materializing from the east. The morabonds and vagabonds in the making of ZANU should be the ones saying “please USA we are so so very sorry please extend our remorse to the World bank and IMF. We will not do that again. tamama veduwe. People are going to eat us .Zambia has refused us maize till we pay upfront. IMF will never approve any new loans to us unless we settle what we owe and China is not helping us in any way instead it is milking us of the resources that should belong to Zimbabwe and its generations and now we are confused. We are sorry to lie that USA imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe when in actual fact USA imposed restrictions on just a few of our corrupt hogs ZANU pf the fact that THESE ARE THE HARD FACTS the Herald.If the herald has nothing to write about let write poems and songs instead of writing falsehoods at this hour when incompetence, corruption and zealotry and complete failure is glaring right in their face and to think any common sensed person can swallow this hollow paradigm is STUPIDITY at its worst by the herald or by whosoever thinks Zimbabweans are stupid.

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    The first sentence of the article states that, “THE United States has admitted it imposed illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday.” But then when you actually read what they said there’s no confession at all. They simply do not deny that there are restrictive measures, or sanctions, against a small group of ZANU-PF members and not the country; AND that they are not about to repeal them.

    So where’s the news?

    After the last election the US government stated categorically that the measures would not be abolished. What’s new, other then the fact that Chinamasa was told this directly to his face?

    I don’t see the US ever even acknowledging the term “illegal sanctions,” because firstly, they are not illegal, and secondly these are not sanctions in the traditional use of the word. Sanctions are applied against governments, not individuals, and there are no sanctions by the US against the country of Zimbabwe.

    (See, Chivulamapoti’s comment above for an excellent, factually correct summery of this issue.)

  • comment-avatar

    Is the “herald” a totally independant newspaper in zimbabwe.

    • comment-avatar

      No No No…It is totally dependant..on zanoidia!

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        Fallenz 9 years ago

        I think that was a “tongue-in-cheek” statement. Everyone knows the Herald is nothing but a ZANUPF propaganda publication, rather than a legitimate news organization. Strangely, they publish correct weather and sports information… I’ve never figured out why……….

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    Dear Minister Chinamasa, You ask that Zimbabweans portray their country in a good light in order to attract investment. may I make a suggestion here. You and ZPF as the current government of Zimbabwe and as its leaders should lead the way in this example. Many of our actions, policies and words most certainly do NOT portray our nation in a good light; in fact they send foreign investment scurrying the other way. And so if you will lead the way and depolitise Zimbabwe, lead in healing and reconciliation between all Zimbabwean people, stop the aggressive rhetoric, open up farming in a fair and just way to ALL Zimbabweans, desist from all the treats to business that creates a terrible insecurity,(KFC is a case in point) anchor the banking system in security to stop the flight of millions, and generally work with us and not against us harnessing every Zimbabweans ability and talent then I am sure foreigners will begin to see us in a new light. We could start with humility, confession of our wrongs and forgiveness. A good a solid place to start.

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    FUNGAI FUNGAI FUNGAI.Read this carefully. Zimbabwe owes the IMF and others 10 billion usa dollars.Read mr chinamasas own speech and I quote”But he explains that government must also develop a culture of paying its debts.”No more money for you if you do not pay your debts.How hard is that to understand????

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    NBS, you took the words out of my mouth.This zanu Govt. still has this perception that everyone owes them a living.Your previous actions Chinomasa will always haunt you and deny this country the ability to progress.

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    Johnny k 9 years ago

    The fact is that we OWE (Chikwereti) to the IMF and World Bank. The critical word is OWE!! The USA imposed financial sanctions because we were not servicing our loans. How did we get to the situation of being unable to repay these so called loans? ZANU created a culture over 30 years among the peasant farmers of receiving free inputs. Where did the money for these free inputs come from? It was borrowed from the IMF. The Chefs all gave themselves new Combines, Tractors and implements, where did the money come from?? It was stolen from the FCA accounts in our banks. The ministers like Mpofu and Munangagwa are billionaires in their own right. Where did they get the money?? They helped themselves to the money that the country had borrowed from the IMF. All LIES LIES and more LIES. The country would easily be able to service these loans if the country was run efficiently and not as an ATM for ZANU chefs to help themselves.

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      Fallenz 9 years ago

      They, and more, also helped themselves to millions in aid funds from the West that were intended to help the people. Again and again the ZANUPF bigwigs have proven themselves to be thieves, and to now supply more funds for them to steal is lubricious.

      The cry of “sanctions” is simply a spin maneuver by ZANUPF to attempt to deflect responsibility from themselves for the failed economy. The unlearned and willfully ignorant echo the lie.

      But, the truth is out there…….

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    Chirau 9 years ago

    The Herald also said diesel comes out of rocks and there are UFOs over Harare……..