Remove Zidera, Industry pleads

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Mike Kamungeremu called for complete removal of sanctions or measures against any institution or individual.

INDUSTRY leaders have pleaded for the total removal of the sanctions programme under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera), citing them as the primary obstacle to the economic progress of the nation.

This comes as the United States government has removed sanctions on some individuals and entities, but maintained President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his wife, key government officials and associates on the red list.

“Efforts that have taken this issue of removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe this far are applauded and we look into the future with hope and optimism that the unjustified sanctions will be totally and unconditionally removed,” Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Kurai Matsheza told NewsDay Business.

He also described the imposition of sanctions on President Mnangagwa and other key government officials and associates as not “a good development for the country”.

Victor Nyoni, the chief executive officer of the Association for Business in Zimbabwe, said: “Zidera is still there and we need serious movement around that.  Congress must now remove Zidera through its legal processes of removing it. So as long as Zidera is in place, we know that the sanctions have not been removed in total.

“But from a purely business perspective, now that companies, banks and other institutions that were sanctioned, which could not deal with the rest of the world, are now being allowed to do that, I think we are excited about that.”

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Mike Kamungeremu called for complete removal of sanctions or measures against any institution or individual.

“We are not sure what the impact will be, given that some sanctions are still in place. Our position as ZNCC as guided by our members at our congress in June 2023 is that any form of sanctions or measures against any institution or individual must be lifted unconditionally. That has not happened yet. All sanctions must go,” Kamungeremu demanded.

United Kingdom-based economic analyst Chenayimoyo Mutambasere said Zimbabwe’s debt crisis was the bigger challenge for the country’s economy worsened by the continued existence of Zidera.

This comes as the US has also pulled out of the debt relief talks with Zimbabwe led by the African Development Bank, the European Union and other creditors.

“By reducing the number of individuals on sanctions it reduces the sanctions exposure to Zimbabwe. Zidera is still in place indeed but as we know the United States has yet to fully ratify Zidera into action since it has been in place. However, that said Zimbabwe’s debt crisis in itself is a bigger sanction on the economy,” Mutambasere said.

The renewed sanctions on Mnangagwa and some key government officials and business associates retain Zimbabwe in diplomatic isolation with the mining and banking sectors likely to be impacted, she said.

Economist Vince Musewe said trade between Zimbabwe and the United States was not likely to change due to the international perception of Zimbabwe due to geopolitical interests and the political climate in the country.

“There is also the unresolved debt issue which will continue to limit access to foreign credit. We are a long way off from celebrating,” Musewe said. 

Victor Bhoroma, another economic analyst said: “The fact that the United States is making efforts to improve relations with Zimbabwe can only be good for trade between the two countries.

“We have got a lot of export potential as a country and the United States obviously will be looking to Africa to be able to source a number of raw materials, to be able to source agricultural products for the American market.”


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