Sanctions could have been removed on Friday.
In a statement posted on the White House’s website on Wednesday, the US said Zimbabwe’s government had missed an opportunity to implement long-overdue political and economic reforms.
“Indeed, the Zimbabwean government has arguably accelerated its persecution of critics and economic mismanagement in the past year, during which security forces have conducted extrajudicial killings, rapes, and alleged abductions of numerous dissidents.”
The US said some actions perpetrated by Zimbabwe’s government continue to “pose an unusual and extraordinary threat” to US foreign policy.
On Thursday, Zimbabwe’s government responded to the sanctions extension with rage. Foreign affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo accused the US of misrepresenting facts.
“We have noted with disappointment, but without surprise, the extension of US sanctions against Zimbabwe by a further 12 months. We disagree strongly with the assertion that our government has not demonstrated the political will to effect major reform,” he said.
Zimbabwe has been under US sanctions since 2003.
Eighty-six officials and 56 companies linked to the ruling Zanu-PF party are restricted from financial and business relations with Washington.