Sanctions stifling economic growth

President Mugabe

President Mugabe

Felex Share Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S economic growth continues to be stifled by impediments in the international trading system that is largely dominated by the use of the American dollar, President Mugabe has said.

The President also said Zimbabwe could not freely trade with other world markets with the United States sanctions regime still in place.

In his 92nd birthday interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation aired on Thursday, night (March 3), President Mugabe said home grown solutions, coupled with the Look East Policy would fight off the iniquity.

This comes as the Obama administration this week extended its embargo on Zimbabwe by another year saying the country remained “a threat to the foreign policy of the United States.”

The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions, has since the turn of the new millennium intercepted several transactions coming to Zimbabwe from other markets and vice versa.

“No, we are not failing (on the economy), but there are difficulties that face us,” President Mugabe said.

“Running an economy is not just a matter of having capital as it is and then produce products. You have to trade products and, trade has got to be facilitated. It is in the facilitation of trade and the securing of investments and the necessary failings from your exports that we face a problem, a huge problem.

“We don’t have our own currency. We are using American currency. When we import say vehicles be it from America, South Africa, Brazil and want to pay for them, its the American dollar that we use. Questions are asked when the money gets to New York, where it is from and if it’s from Zimbabwe, No!

“Similarly, if payments are to be made to us, if these are to Zimbabwe, America says no because all the payments must be made through their banking system.”

President Mugabe said while the European Union — which has also slapped Zimbabwe with punitive sanctions — was “better behaved” when it came to transactions, it was the same story when it came to payments because they are done using the US dollar.

“Your progress is inhibited,” he said.

“You have to find ways of circumventing these impediments that face us in trading with other countries. We have managed to sustain our economy, nevertheless. There is a negative side in our environment that we continue to fight against to say no, give us a way, allow us to pass through and constantly we have roadblocks, we are stopped on the way. But we keep ourselves going and ensuring that our community remains alive, especially during a period like we have had this year, where the rains were at the beginning sparse and we were visited by El Niño and our crops went dry in the fields.”

He said Government would continue clarifying its indigenisation and economic empowerment policy to attract more investors.

The ultimate goal of the policy, the President said, was to create a win-win situation between investors and locals.

“We are saying come, if it is mining minerals the resources are ours, we own them in the first place,” President Mugabe said.

He continued, “That ownership must be recognised because we must get them out of the ground with your help and you are prepared to be partners with us in that process of getting them out from the ground.

“From our total ownership of these commodities, we are prepared to reward you for your task to the exact of 49 percent. We want our people empowered, given jobs. But that is not the only task we demand of investors. It’s a task that we ourselves on our own must ensure is discharged, establish enterprises, companies, ensure that our people are employed, give them jobs at various levels including the level of management.

“In some cases, encourage our people to undertake businesses where they do that business for themselves entirely. In that case, it’s not the State employing them, but the State might be sponsoring them or just supporting them financially or technologically, but the business is entirely their own.”

President Mugabe said investments “do not start on a high pitch” and Zimbabweans would soon start reaping rewards from the Chinese and Russian mega deals.

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  • haiwawo

    Mismanagement, corruption and lack of vision stiffing economic growth. Trade with the rest of the world – the so-called all weather friends. Tired of hearing the same song by people who do not want to look themselves in the mirror.

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Please be human enough not celebrate sanctions foolishly. Weaknesses we find in our government are not the major cause of our economic ills. The sanctions are the major factor. You cannot succeed to buttress your regime change politics by repeating thread bare and worn out neo colonial propaganda against our revolutionary government. Its not a sin to regain our land . Its as sin for those who satanically decided to impose sanctions on our economy to stifle the efficient use of our resources. How do you explain the US opposition to our diamonds trade after the Kimberly approval? Pafunge!

      • Jonah15

        What is revolutionary about Zimbabwe?retrogression better explains the status quo, stop regurgitating and throwing useless cliches all over the place.

      • SimonPetere

        Comrade to be honest you need help .. what have you done with ghe land …forget about elnino….what of the diamonds losses you claim to be being shortchanged yet you are in it with ghe army . To be honest with you God will deal with Zanu as a whole

      • sherman

        Mzvinavhu……. Our problems are corruption and INDIGINISATION,,,, You are so tied in with the Corruptors, you can’t see the trees from the forest…… Get back to cleaning the latrines, please……..

      • karombe

        haiwawo. saka ndicho chakaita kuti va loote madiomonds here?

      • Patriot

        Really prof in Zim you can buy what you want from America, and sell to America also….. look at the trade statistics

    • Zvichapera

      Tell them @haiwawo. These guys think that people are fools. Let them have the last supper. Truly, truly I tell you, that when light dawns, these so called journalists at herald will be unemployable. They are singing for their last supper. Time will tell. That is why at one time, Moyo had given them an O level school leaver as an Editor. That was an insult on their integrity.

  • jongwe

    SKM said the extension of sanctions by the US was a non event. In light of this how can they stiffle economic growth Cde Bob?

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      SKM did not mean the sanctions are not effective , you simpleton. Obama`s statement should interpreted as something obvious to us because the Devil will never be Jesus Christ. That was the import of Cde SKM response to that music in the ears of all opposition political parties in Zimbabwe, including the new evil addition, better known as the Zany People Foolish. Are we not reminded of the new Zany leader meeting the Us ambassador nicodemously some years back, to thank the US govt for the sanctions,when she was acting President as reported in the Wikilikisi. we surprised by the Zany outfit `s policies outline. By no means!

      • 98798

        hi you useless tool

      • Gary WekuZviyambe

        Retired army Colonel Tshinga Dube was Marange Resources Chairman. A report in March 2007:
        “The son of Tshinga Dube, CEO of the Zimbabwe Defense Industries, was also arrested after a stash of 764 diamonds and 7.42 grams of gold valued at two million dollars was confiscated during a raid at Mthulisi Dube’s home.”

    • SimonPetere

      Nhai zvako iwe. With his own beak he said it

  • wesley

    hot air

    • Cde Samanyanga Dotito.

      Refreshing air!

      • wesley

        not as refreshing as 15bn of diamond revenue, Cde

  • Fortune

    Kkkkkkkkk where is Cde Dangote.

  • theheraldonline

    Isaac Hunt, how are you?
    Who needs the West? Zimbabwe? What about the West? Doesn’t it need Zimbabwe too? And Zimbabweans, don’t you think they have to be the masters of the better life they want than look elsewhere for solutions?

    • Guranyanga

      The same argument was made against Debswana mining model in Botswana.Now we have lost 15 billion dollars and you say oh these people were stealing from us.Did Biti not warn you and you ignored him? Should everything be about retaining power at all costs Mr Editor.Why are some people so dogmatic that they consider themselves superhuman.

      • karombe

        iwe vanoziva kune mari yacho.

    • karombe

      forgetting the global village huh? we need each other.

  • Jonah15


  • Jojo

    Mr Editor please lets stop this sanctions nonsense. The Smith govt had a UN embargo but the nation was well supplied with goods and services. No one ever died of hunger before independence but our govt cries murder every day over these mickey mouse sanctions. Are we saying we do not have enough brains to counter the sanctions?

  • Rawboy

    Zimbabwe uses the American dollar as it’s currency.Zimbabwe is under economic sanctions from America…..Ummmmm!!

  • Jojo

    Tendai Biti has dismissed Mr Mugabe’s remarks. “These are words and soundbites of a hypocrite and a dishonest person.” The former finance minister added, “When I was in government I gave him the figures. I gave him the statistics. I gave him the secret reports produced in Brussels. I gave him the secret report produced by Kimberley Process… and the reports showed that diamond mines were producing over US$2 billion per year but we were getting nothing.”

    Biti said Mugabe was dismissive when he approached him with the evidence of looting. “No one supported me. The reason was very simple; Zanu-PF took a deliberate decision that the diamond companies would not give money to treasury for fear that an MDC (opposition Movement for Democratic Change and coalition partner) minister would perform and make a difference. And we also knew that these diamond companies were paying rent to private individuals. And one of the things Mugabe used to say to me was, why go after diamonds, how about platinum…”
    We all know who is telling the truth.

  • theheraldonline

    I get you. However, from an imperialistic viewpoint, the West needs Zimbabwe. Imperialism wouldn’t thrive. So any resistance to imperialism is a threat to the West’s survival. This is why erstwhile colonial powers would try every trick to arm twist African states into submission.

    • karombe

      we wouldnt be where we are if not for imperialism. remember kuti vanhu ava vakauya tichipfeka animal skin isina kana kuitwa value add. ngatingotaura chete kuti ngatichichenjerawo and shun corruption

    • Panga

      they know they are the ones who are going to feed hungry Zimbabweans, at least they need to be worried

  • sanction this

    ah is dee sanctions, easy words to repeat from totally clueless arsoles!

  • bhurujena

    What are sanctions? I fail to understand this argument. I have always believed there are no trade sanctions against Zimbabwe – just travel sanctions against certain individuals. The ills of Zimbabwe are incompetence in most if not all ministries. Let’s rewind with just 2 companies… 1. ZUPCO …once the pride of public transport ichiri Harare United.. It went burst – no sanctions 2. Dairyboard .. unochema with it’s state today… man in the mirror ! We have failed ourselves as Zimbabwean and we have failed black race….

  • SimonPetere

    Love this one

  • SimonPetere

    He is shocking

  • karombe

    i wonder. vana germany, japan and iyo china yotodai kunamata became vibrant economies becoz of sanctions, real trade sanctions. ko chatitadzisawo isu chii? haisiri corruption iyoyo which leads to mismanagement of government and all state institutions. but povo mati baya

  • karombe

    saka pane vakatarisana nejereka apa. pakaoma

  • karombe

    we come up with policies that have loopholes so that we loot. then purge those that are against it who are in their midst

  • Observer gonzo

    You dont know what you are talking about. Rhodesia had real economic sanctions where even fuel was difficult to smuggle into the country. The targeted sanctions are actually meant to help us not harm us… i mean which person targeted by sanction would you cry for? Gono? Grace? Kasukuwere? Which company targeted by sanctions do you think was benefiting anyone – ZISCO? ZMDC? these were dead and failing to pay salaries long before any sanctions came in.