from DANAI MWARUMBWA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE statesman, Joachim Chissano, has lamented the sanctions against Zimbabwe as having a dire impact on the Southern African region. The former Mozambican president added the current situation in the neighbouring country would hinder the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“The crisis in the country is having terrible consequences for the region, as Zimbabwe lies at the heart of Southern Africa,” Chissano said.
He was speaking in Harare, the Zimbabwe capital, during a high-level debt resolution forum. Chissano noted that because of the restrictions against Zimbabwe, many regional infrastructure development plans, including roads, railways and power transmission lines had been brought to a standstill, as they had to run through that country.
“The continental free trade is also undermined by the situation prevailing in Zimbabwe,” the former Mozambican president said. Chissano and the African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Dr Akinumwi Adesina, are championing Zimbabwe’s debt clearance process.
Joaquim Chissano, the former president of Mozambique, says the continental free trade is undermined by the situation prevailing in Zimbabwe.
The debt runs into US$8,3 billion and sanctions by some Western nations for more than two decades are exacerbating the crisis.
“Economic sanctions are driving Zimbabwe further into unsustainable debt,” Adesina said.
“The debt itself is not as debilitating as the arrears on the debt since the country cannot access international concessional financing or other revenue or less expensive financing to pay down its debt obligations,” he added.
Adesina and Chissano visited the United States early May to meet with leaders in the Congress, Treasury Department, State Department, and other agencies.
The US slapped sanctions under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA).
“It was very clear that there is support for this high-level dialogue, and a hope that it will translate into concrete and measurable progress on the ground to inform a consideration of the lifting of the sanctions under ZIDERA,” Adesina said.
In December 2022, the Zimbabwean government established a Structured Dialogue Platform with all creditors and development partners, to institutionalize structured dialogue on economic and governance reforms to underpin the arrears clearance and debt resolution process.
– CAJ News