United States of America Ambassador to Zimbabwe Harry Thomas Jnr 1 yesterday challenged the government of Zimbabwe to align laws to the new constitution for sanctions to be removed.
He was responding to questions during a one-on-one session with 263chat.
“A good start will be the implementation of the new constitution. It is your constitution passed by your own people, thus laws must be aligned to the constitution,” he said adding that clear policies on the indigenisation law must be formulated.
Zimbabwe adopted a new Constitution in 2013 , but it has taken the government longer than expected to make headway in enacting necessary changes to capture provisions in the new charter
Ambassador Thomas also said government must walk the talk on corruption, which has become endemic within the country’s political, private and civil sectors.
According to Transparency International Corruption Perceptions index (2012), Zimbabwe ranks joint 163rd out of 176 countries ranking it alongside Equatorial Guinea.
He added, “It is important for the government to respect human rights citing that people should be free to speak their mind without fear of victimisation.
“You cannot act in a way of contravening and then say sanctions must be reformed,” said Ambassador Thomas.
He also said the decision to lift sanctions lies within the United States President, Barack Obama and the US senate.
“For the sanctions to be lifted both the senate and President Obama has to be convinced that there is genuine economic and political reforms in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Despite sanctions, which the US says target 98 individuals and 68 entities, Ambassador Thomas revealed that his country remains Zimbabwe’s biggest donor.
The United States implemented the targeted sanctions program in 2003 as a result of the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons undermining democratic institutions and processes in Zimbabwe.
Certain persons have been targeted for sanctions on the basis of their connection to the Government of Zimbabwe. However, U.S. sanctions do not block the Government of Zimbabwe as a whole, nor do they prohibit all business with the country of Zimbabwe or transactions involving that jurisdiction. The United States has imported goods from Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe has imported goods from the United States on an ongoing basis both before and after the targeted sanctions commenced.
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