Sanctions against Zimbabwe’s political elite who are blamed by the United States for undermining democracy in Zimbabwe have been extended by another year. These sanctions issued under International Emergency Economic Powers Act ( Executive Order 13288) were set to expire on 6 March 2020 (tomorrow).

Executive Order 13288 titled “Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe”. Was issued by President George Bush in response to a diplomatic row between the US and Zimbabwe over the land reform program as well as other acts taken by Harare which the US deemed undemocratic.

They have been a thorn in the side of Harare’s so-called New Dispensation which has vehemently called them illegal and unjustified. Harare blames these and similar actions under the ZIDERA Act of Congress to be the real reason why the Zimbabwean economy has been in the doldrums for the past two or so decades. Washington has, however, blamed corruption and mismanagement as the real reason why Zimbabwe’s economy continues to falter.

Zimbabwean officials have declared October 25 of each year as sanctions day were people in Zimbabwe are supposed to march against sanctions and call for their removal. They have managed to co-opt the entire SADC region into the project with various leaders from the Southern African region calling for the removal of sanctions at various times.

Text of the sanction extension

The actions and policies by certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.

For this reason, the national emergency declared on March 6, 2003, and the measures adopted on that date, on November 22, 2005, and on July 25, 2008, to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond March 6, 2020.  Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

March 4, 2020.