Botswana-US ambassador takes Zim sanctions issue to Sadc

  • Individuals, companies should approach the US govt for redress
  • Sanctions list not hard and fast

ZIMBABWEANS on the United States sanctions list can petition that country’s government so they are struck off that list, said the Botswana-United States ambassador.

Individuals and companies in Zimbabwe were in 2003 slapped with sanctions under the Zimbabwe Economic Recovery Act (Zidera) for allegedly perpetrating violence during the 2001 “land reform programme”.

US ambassador to Botswana, Craig Cloud, in his discussion with Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) executive secretary, Stergomena Tax, on Tuesday said individuals on his country’s sanctions list could still petition the US if they wanted them taken off that list.

Craig said the sanctions list was subject to change, adding that the US government had since 2003 sanctioned 130 individuals and 60 companies under Zidera.

The US ambassador, however, said about a third of individuals and several companies had since struck of the list.

“During this time, it has removed about one-third of the individuals and several of the companies from the list,” Cloud said.

Individuals on the list may petition (the US) for their removal and US persons may apply for a licence to do business with sanctioned individuals and companies,” Cloud said.

Recently, Zimbabwe and other Sadc countries joined Zimbabwe in its march against sanctions by the US.

The Zanu PF government believe that sanctions are affecting the country’s economic growth.

Cloud, however, said failed economic policies and corruption and no not sanctions, were hindering Zimbabwe’s economic growth.

Billions of dollars have been lost due to decades of corruption and harmful economic policies which have culminated in the current economic crisis,” he said.

Zimbabwe has had both prosperous and difficult years during the life of the targeted sanctions programme,” Cloud said.