PRESIDENT TRUMP TIGHTENS ZIMBABWE SANCTIONS

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United States President Donald Trump yesterday signed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018 (S 2779) into law, effectively tightening the noose on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government and dampening hopes of reengagement to jumpstart the country’s free-falling economy.

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The new law, which amends the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, effectively extends US sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Its signing follows the passing of Zidera by the US senate and Congress last month ahead of Zimbabwe’s July 30 polls.

The announcement was made by the White House in a statement yesterday which flies into Mnangagwa’s hopes of re-engagement to end the country’s international pariah status.

“On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the President signed into law: S 2779, the ‘Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018,’ which amends the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001,” the statement read.

Zimbabwe has been under US sanctions since 2001 when the world economic giant imposed measures to punish former President Robert Mugabe’s government for gross human rights abuses and following the chaotic land reform programme.

Mnangagwa, who took over from Mugabe on the back of a military operation last November, had been desperate for international re-engagement to lure investors and revive the economy.

The US had indicated it would evaluate its foreign policy on Zimbabwe after the holding of free, fair and credible elections.

However, Mnangagwa’s pledge for free and fair poll has been marred by post-electoral violence that claimed seven lives after soldiers opened fire in Harare’s crowded streets last week.

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