Victoria Ruzvidzo in Madrid, Spain
Some members of the European Union have appealed to the organisation’s executive to lift sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe in response to recent political developments in the country. This was revealed by the Honorary Consul for Zimbabwe in Spain Mr Jose Maria Camallonga here yesterday. It was not immediately clear which specific countries, but The Herald has it on good authority that the majority of countries on this grouping feel sanctions on Zimbabwe are no longer necessary.
“In his first interventions, President Mnangagwa has been optimistic and enthusiastic towards reform, which has led several EU countries to request the community executive to lift the sanctions imposed on this African country,” said Mr Camallonga while addressing Spanish investors here.
“The lifting of the sanctions would mean a substantial boost to Zimbabwe’s economy, especially in terms of foreign investments.” Mr Camallonga said this meant that Zimbabwe was now a destination to consider for investment. Once the sanctions have been lifted and reforms are underway, Zimbabwe can start to attract businesses to carry out investments and projects in numerous sectors such as mining, tourism and infrastructure,” he said.
“In the short term, the Government has announced the privatisation of major public companies and the strengthening of existing trade free zones.” In her address, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira said sanctions were not helpful.
“The country has reeled under sanctions for almost two decades and we do not want to go back to that situation again,” she said.
“The developments in Zimbabwe have resulted in greater acceptance with the international community, with which our priority is re-engagement.” Zimbabwe has endured the illegal economic sanctions which have impeded progress, but President Mnangagwa has chosen a path of re-engagement. The response from the international community has been positive, giving impetus to efforts to revive the economy.
President Mnangagwa heads for Davos Switzerland this week at the invitation of the World Economic Forum, a platform through which Zimbabwe can tell its story to the world. The sanctions are normally reviewed in February every year and Minister Mupfumira said Zimbabwe was hopeful they would be lifted next month.