First of all, the sanctions are in a Bill called ZIDERA. If you read ZIDERA, there is no name of any politician or company or anyone Zimbabwean. This is because the application of these sanctions was left to the discretion of the US government. So, ZIDERA as written is very different from ZIDERA as applied.
Now let me outline ZIDERA as applied.
Currently, ZIDERA effectively places a cruel economic embargo on Zimbabwe (Banks, Companies, Parastatals & individuals). This effectively means the sanctions are not targeted at all but are are comprehensive & wide ranging!
What do the sanctions entail in Practice.
1. They block Zimbabwean politicians (Zanu Pf) from traveling freely internationally (travel bans). They also froze their foreign bank accounts (but none was ever revealed up to now)
2. They block Zim Banks from accessing loans & opening Nostro accounts with Foreign Banks (No wonder international transactions are complicated & we experience cash shortages).
3. They block ordinary Zimbabweans from participating in certain international programs (E.g l was told l couldn’t do a certain program because Zimbabwe was under sanctions. So we are excluded from that program. It was a Business & Entrepreneurship Program sponsored by US gvt). Also check the pic l will attach here.
4. Zim minerals & other commodities can’t be directly traded internationally from Zimbabwe. Many Zimbabwean companies use South African intermediaries to export & import goods thus losing out profit.
5. Zimbabwe becomes the only African country that funds its budget on it’s own. Almost all African countries get foreign budget support. This obviously affect all Zimbabweans.
What are the effects of sanctions?
1. They give government an excuse for underperformance. They even use this excuse as political leverage. If sanctions go, we can eliminate this excuse & hold gvt accountable.
2. They provide political leverage to the opposition. In fact, opposition parties are benefiting heavily from the protest vote due to the effects of sanctions. If sanctions are removed, we can truly judge the opposition on merit not basing our vote on hatred of the gvt.
3. They cause unemployment. Companies shun operating in a country under sanctions. In fact, the sanctions block investment from US & US allies. This means companies close & companies downsize. Our youth remain jobless as a result.
4. The sanctions are promoting political extremism & violence. The Zanu Pf government is under siege & can only survive by using extreme tactics sometimes. With their ability to deliver curtailed, they turn to draconian tactics thus creating a toxic political environment. This can be said about North Korea too.
The intended objective of the sanctions failed & the unintended consequences have been brutal on the Ordinary citizen. Zimbabwean politicians must learn to fight their battles without strangling the voter! Zanu Pf strangles us with violence and MDC strangles us by lobbying for these cruel sanctions. Sanctions Must Go! The sanctions are not targeted at few individuals but are targeted at ALL ZIMBABWEANS!