Anti-sanctions protesters clock 1 year

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  • Anti-sanctions protesters clock 1 year at US Embassy
  • Anti-sanctions group says the US likely to grant them their petition
  • The US extends sanctions against Zim to beyond March 2020
  • The US insists that Zim should reform

A GROUP identified as Broad Alliance Against sanctions is determined to clock 365 days camped at the United States Embassy in protest over sanctions imposed on Harare by that country.

The group on Tuesday clocked 348 days and is optimistic that their action will force the Donald Trump administration to lift the sanctions against Zimbabwe, which the group has labelled as illegal.

“These sanctions are illegal, and our stay here is a clear message which we believe America will hasten to and have the sanctions lifted.

“The sanctions are hurting us the ordinary people; they are targeting the general public and not those who are mentioned,” Sheila Dapi said.

The group’s spokesperson, Sally Ngoni, said the group was nonpartisan, with its food being supplied by well-wishers.

“We come from different political parties, and what brings us here is the fight against these sanctions, and we believe the US will do the right thing.

“We have shown the Americans that if their hand is not involved, we can protest peacefully as Zimbabweans,” Ngoni said.

In a statement posted on the White House website on Wednesday, the Trump administration said the Zimbabwean government had missed an opportunity to implement political and economic reforms and as a result, the US had no choice but to extend the targeted sanctions beyond March 2020.

“In the wake of the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017, Zimbabwe’s national elections in July 2018, and President Mugabe’s subsequent death in September 2019, Zimbabwe has had ample opportunity to implement reforms that could set the country on a constructive path, stabilise the Southern African region, and open the door to greater co-operation with the US,” read part of the statement

“Unfortunately, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has yet to signal credible political will to implement such reforms. Indeed, the Zimbabwean government has  arguably accelerated its persecution of critics and economic mismanagement in the past year, during which security forces have conducted extrajudicial killings, rapes and alleged abductions of numerous dissidents,” added the statement.

According to foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, sanctions have cost the country some US$98 billion since their imposition during the Mugabe-era.

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