The United Kingdom (UK) has claimed that its sanctions on Zimbabwe are asset freezes and travel bans on 5 Zimbabwean individuals for corruption and rights abuses.
UK dismissed claims by the ZANU PF government that the sanctions are behind Zimbabwe’s economic woes as they have, among others, blocked trade. In a series of messages on Twitter, the UK embassy in Zimbabwe said:
Trade between the UK and Zimbabwe was 244m USD last financial year
UK sanctions are asset freezes and travel bans on 5 Zimbabwean individuals for corruption & rights abuses. They don’t stop trade.
Let’s get this straight: the UK imposed asset freezes and a UK travel ban earlier this year on 5 individuals for corruption and serious human rights abuses. The UK has no economic sanctions on Zimbabwe #itsnotsanctions.
The facts: trade between the UK and Zimbabwe was 244m USD last FY, with Zim exports to the UK reaching 55m USD.
The UK and Zimbabwe have a bilateral trade deal which gives Zimbabwe duty & quota-free access to UK markets.
Meanwhile, the United States of America said its sanctions on Zimbabwe were imposed to encourage good governance and to foster democracy. Said the US embassy in Harare:
Advancing democracy, promoting human rights and protecting fundamental freedoms continue to be top priorities for the United States. America stands with the Zimbabwean people as you strive for a more democratic and prosperous future.
The Zimbabwe sanctions program aims to encourage those sanctioned individuals to stop facilitating corruption and start respecting fundamental rights and democratic aspirations.
The U.S. government can lift sanctions once it determines sanctioned individuals have stopped undermining democracy, violating human rights, or facilitating corruption.
The European Union said none of its restrictive measures on Zimbabwe targets trade. Added the EU delegation in Zimbabwe:
Zimbabwean goods have a tariff and quota free privileged access to the #EU market as granted by the Economic and Partnership Agreement (#EPA) ratified in 2012.
These statements when Zimbabwe and the rest of SADC are commemorating the Anti-Sanctions Day (25 October).
They are also issued when a United Nations special rapporteur, Alena Douhan, in Zimbabwe on a 10-day visit to ascertain the effects of sanctions imposed on individuals and some corporates in the country.