SADC leaders have renewed their calls for western countries to scrap their sanctions against Zimbabwe.
This follows the just-ended SADC summit which was held in Malawi and also attended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Read their communique in part, “Summit reiterated its call on the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe, and support Zimbabwe in the ongoing socio-economic strengthening efforts.”
The European Union and the US slapped some top Zimbabwean government officials and associated firms with trade and travel bans nearly two decades ago accusing the Zanu PF led authority of trampling on citizens’ rights, poll theft and unbridled corruption.
Although they have been relaxed on some individuals, the sanctions have remained in force amid pledges to scrap them if Harare conforms to a set of economic and political reforms prescribed by the countries.
However, government insists the sanctions are illegal and only aimed to be a form of punishment after the country embarked on its controversial post-2000 land reform exercise which saw a great majority of a formerly 6 000 strong white commercial farmers of European descent lose their land.
Government blames the sanctions for crippling development in the troubled country.