The United States of America (USA) has reiterated that sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are not to blame for the economic crisis in the southern African country.
In a statement issued on 25 October 2022 to coincide with the country’s Anti-sanctions commemorations, the U.S., through its embassy in Harare, said bad governance and maladministration were to blame for the collapse of the once vibrant economy.
The embassy cited cases of corruption reported by local and international media to support its argument. The embassy commented on its 2019 post which cited an article by Business Times which stated that 10 000 carats of diamonds had vanished. Commenting on the article, back then, the embassy said:
Diamonds worth US$10 million would fund water treatment chemicals for Harare for 4 months that Zimbabweans desperately need. But they were shipped out of the country for “training purposes” & never reached the intended destination. #ItsNotSanctions
The embassy also cited an article by the News Hawks which stated that Zimbabwe was losing US$157 million to gold plunder and illicit financial flows every month.
Sanctions play no role in currency volatility, regulatory instability, inflated government contracts, leakages from the extractive sector, counterproductive agricultural policies, and the list goes on. #ItsNotSanctions
The US imposed sanctions targeting 144 individuals and companies. 141 of the sanctioned entities and individuals are listed in the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act passed by the US government.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Tanzanian Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe, his wife Chido Machona and State Security minister, Owen Ncube — were only added to the sanctions list in 2019.
For its part, the Zimbabwean government argues that sanctions have cost billions of dollars saying entities and individuals on the sanctions lists are the main players controlling means of production in the country. Their performance, positive or negative, therefore, has a trickle down effect on members of the public.