Panafrican News Agency

'Sanctions stifling us', Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa tells the world

New York, USA (PANA) - Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa continued with his predecessor’s, the late former President Robert Mugabe, rhetoric and blamed sanctions for impeding his administration’s efforts in rebuilding Zimbabwe.

This comes as Zimbabwe’s political and economic state continues to rapidly deteriorate as the Mnangagwa administration is yet to fully implement reforms that could unlock financial aid from multilateral partners.

However, Mnangagwa lambasting sanctions was done to a barely filled hall at the UN General Assembly in New York City, USA, where it is taking place.

The President was among several African leaders or heads of states from mostly developing countries to address the poorly filled hall on Wednesday.

“These sanctions constitute a denial of the human rights of the constitution of Zimbabwe to develop and improvement to their quality of life. Furthermore, sanctions are slowing down our progress, inhibiting our economic recovery and punishing the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. As the United Nations let us boldly honour the principles of our charter. The wrongs of the world must be set right,” Mnangagwa said.

“Unfair practices must be challenged and justice, racism and all forms of oppression by men must be opposed and rejected. My country applauds the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and all who stand with us in demanding the immediate and removal of all these illegal sanctions.”

Zimbabwe is currently in a recession with government projecting a negative 3 percent growth rate for year while the International Monetary Fund has the decline at 5.2 percent.

Contributing to this decline are austerity measures with virtually no cushioning for citizens which has drastically reduced the nation’s consumer spending power and therefore projections for growth from businesses.

Furthermore, the reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar as the sole currency in June has greatly eroded wages as well as business earnings and profits making the country less unattractive to investors.

While drought has also played a role in hurting Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector that provides about 67 percent of the population's livelihoods, experts say macroeconomic challenges are worsening matters.

Despite this, Mnangagwa pleaded to the world to "be patient".

"Be patient with us, to support us and to join us on this new and exciting journey,” Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa's plea comes despite worsening human rights and governance abuses which are part of the conditions laid out in removing targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe by the United States and its allies.

The United States has put targeted sanctions against 141 individuals and entities in Zimbabwe.

While sanctions have increased the risk factor in doing business in Zimbabwe, corruption, human rights and governance abuses, lack of arrests against high ranking officials, and unfavourable business and investor led policies have stifled the country's growth.

-0- PANA TZ/VAO 26Sept2019