South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa has told United States president, Joe Biden that sanctions on Zimbabwe are affecting other countries in the region as economic migrants from Zimbabwe are fleeing to neighbouring countries.
Peter Ndoro, a broadcast journalist posted on Twitter:
Meeting with President Biden, President Ramaphosa raised the issue of #sanctions on #Zimbabwe. He explained to President Biden that Zim sanctions affect other countries in the region as economic migrants are forced to leave #Zimbabwe in their droves to seek economic opportunities.
A senior Biden administration official told reporters earlier in the day that the United States president wanted to discuss the war in Ukraine with Ramaphosa, and hear the South African leader’s “thoughts on the best way forward”.
Biden, who has led an international coalition in applying a slew of economic sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war, wants South Africa’s help in those efforts.
But the South African government has resisted calls to directly condemn Russia for the invasion citing close historical ties to Moscow due to the Soviet Union’s support for the anti-apartheid struggle.
Meanwhile, some argue that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe was caused by corruption and looting of national resources by political elites in the ruling ZANU PF, not by sanctions imposed on the southern African country at the turn of the millennium.
The U.S. imposed sanctions, known as ZDERA on Zimbabwe following Robert Mugabe’s administration-initiated fast-track land reform programme that was marred by “gross human rights violations.”
America has always maintained that sanctions were attracted by human rights violations and will only be removed when Zimbabwe implement requisite reforms.
Statistics suggest that hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans fled the country twenty years ago when the economy collapsed, most of them in South Africa.