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Govt welcomes removal of its banks from US sanctions list

GOVERNMENT has welcomed the U.S. decision Thursday to remove two of its banks from the sanctions list, saying the move will allow them to easily obtain credit to address the country’s moribund economy.

However, the ruling ZANU-PF party is calling for more from the U.S. and other Western countries that imposed the sanctions in 2002.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control gave Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe and Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe a clean bill of health. Mthuli Ncube, the country’s finance and economic development minister, could not hide his joy over the news to reporters in Harare.  

“Of course, any removal of any institution, especially a financial one, is very positive indeed,” he said.

“This will help the bank access credit lines and remove any restrictions that pertain to KYC — know-your-customer — challenges, which is really what happens when a bank is on the spotlight, the way they were. Now that they [sanctions] have been lifted, the banks will find it easier to do business going forward. So this is a very welcome development indeed.” 

Tafadzwa Mugwadi, the director of information in the ruling ZANU-PF party, said the party is not satisfied, though President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s efforts to reengage the West are bearing fruit.  

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“We are not happy as long as part of these sanctions, the major parts of these sanctions are still in place,” Mugwadi said. “Our position as ZANU-PF is that the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe from the United States of America have no place in this civilized world, so that the people of Zimbabwe can fully realize their full potential without any hinderances, so that the government can be measured on the basis of its capacity without these hinderances, without sanctions in place.”   

The U.S. and several Western countries and institutions, like the European Union, imposed sanctions on some state institutions and some senior party officials in 2002 following reports of election rigging and human rights abuses.

Harare blames the sanctions for the country’s moribund economy, while critics blame bad government policies for causing the economy to catch a cold. 

Via
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