US sanctions blow for Mnangagwa as Trump says Harare ‘still a threat’

US President Donald Trump has reportedly “extended sanctions against Zimbabwe for another year”, saying that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration “remained a threat to Washington’s foreign policy”.

According to Voice of America (VOA), the extension was made in a notice signed by Trump on Friday. The notice stressed that the situation in Zimbabwe had not yet transformed following the removal of former president Robert Mugabe from power.

President Mnangagwa, some army generals and others, who participated in the unseating of Mugabe last year, were under targeted sanctions for alleged human rights abuses and election rigging, VOA said.

“…Concrete actions must follow President Mnangagwa’s stated intentions to carry out political and economic reforms. The actions and policies of certain members of the government of Zimbabwe and other persons, however, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States,” read part of the notice.

This came as Mnangagwa was making concerted efforts to consolidate international acceptance of his government, said a New Zimbabwe.com report.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa was in London and Paris last week, while Mnangagwa was in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of his regional diplomatic offensive.

Chinamasa was in London, leading a Zimbabwean delegation for engagement under Mnangagwa’s new theme: “Zimbabwe is open for business.”

Britain’s foreign affairs minister, Boris Johnson, who met with Chinamasa, expressed optimism over Zimbabwe’s political future but urged Mnangagwa’s government to deliver “a free and fair election”.

Writing on his Twitter page this week, Johnson said that he was delighted to welcome Zimbabwe’s finance minister Patrick Chinamasa in London.

But following Johnson’s tweet, opposition leader David Coltart challenged the UK minister to also listen to the voices of the people on the ground, according to a Daily News report.

Coltart said that the condition for a fair vote were not yet met and the country’s constitution was “flagrantly violated”. — News 24

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