Sanctions: Let’s not lose focus

 Dr Gift Mugano
Last week, the United States President, Mr Donald Trump signed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act (Zidera) of 2018 (s2779) into law.

Zidera was introduced in 2001 on the back of alleged wholesale land acquisition and gross abuse of human rights.

The renewal of the sanctions is both regrettable and unfortunate.

Zimbabwe has come of age. A lot of things have changed and more progressive changes are on the way.

The new administration, led by President Mnangagwa, has shown beyond reasonable doubt that it is committed to the tenants of rule of law, including respect for ownership and title to property, freedom of speech and association.

Testimony of the sincerity of our Government in addressing these measures is seen in the amendment of the lndigenisation and Empowerment act, measures which were put in place to create a conducive environment for business operations.

During the campaign period before elections, for the first time in our history, opposition parties were allowed to throng Zanu-PF strongholds without encountering any problems. The sweet spirit in which our President has been promoting peace, even in trying times of direct provocation by the opposition, is commendable.

The US is a very important global partner which Zimbabwe cannot afford to ignore.

In the same vein, by its nature, the US is an ‘international commissioner of oaths.’ What it means is that wherever the US puts their sanctions, foreign direct investments becomes elusive while on the contrary, every country which is ‘certified’ by the US as a credible global partner, there is a surge in FDIs and capital at low premiums.

Notwithstanding this setback, Zimbabwe must not lose hope.

It is encouraging to note that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Dr Sibusiso Moyo and His Excellency President Mnangagwa have underscored that they will continue to engage the US as a strategic plan. The President has also promised to continue improving the environment in Zimbabwe.

We must continue with this spirit.

In the same vein, we must work even harder to improve both our political and economic environment, not to please the Americans but to create for ourselves a home that we will all cherish.

In the yesteryears, we couldn’t differentiate the problems which were caused by sanctions from our self inflicting problems. For example, this country lost billions of dollars on the back of massive corruption, our land was not wholly productive for years, the general doing business environment has vast room for improvement.

Going forward, President Mnangagwa and his team must deal with these yester-years’ weaknesses so that we deliver the Zimbabwe we want. Based on his performance of the last eight months, I have no doubt that the President will take us to the promised land.

God bless Zimbabwe.

 

Dr Mugano is an author and expert in trade and international finance. He has successfully supervised four Doctorate candidates in the field of trade and international finance, published over twenty-five articles and book chapters in peer reviewed journals. He is a research associate at Nelson Mandela University, Registrar at Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University and Director at Africa Economic Development Strategies. Feedback: Cell: +263 772 541 209. Email: [email protected]

 

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