Continued sanctions against Zim will hamper progress

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cape Town - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says continued sanctions against Zimbabwe will hamper the progress of the power-sharing government.

"It is our belief and that of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that the continued imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe, as well as its isolation, weakens its ability to establish that country on a path of economic recovery and political stability."

Zimbabwe had made enough progress in putting together a unity government, Motlanthe said, adding that continued sanctions will make it difficult for Zimbabwe's power-sharing agreement to be implemented.

Responding to a question raised in Parliament, Motlanthe reiterated that South Africa was committed to assisting the Zimbabwean government to implement all provisions of the Global Political Agreement, including all outstanding matters in respect of which difficulties remain.

Meanwhile, SADC concluded its 29th summit yesterday, also calling for the removal of all international sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The summit noted the progress made in the implementation of the political accord in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe needs $10 billion in foreign reconstruction aid, but Western nations are reluctant to release aid without political and economic reform.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe blames western sanctions for his country's economic woes. He said the sanctions would make it difficult for the country to raise much-needed foreign funds.

However, some countries have shown an interest in helping the unity government.

The British Government will be injecting $100 million into education, health, water and sanitation in Zimbabwe, while the International Monetary Fund has committed a $510 million loan for Zimbabwe.