United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Shannon Smith says though the American government maintains targeted sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle, it was wants Zimbabwe to prosper and grow economically.
Smith, who is in the country as part of the US government’s re-engagement efforts with Zimbabwe, said America is committed to democratic reform, rule of law and governance in Zimbabwe, adding targeted sanctions will remain until their objectives have been met.
She, however, said overally US policy was not static, adding it can change depending on events taking place in other countries, including Zimbabwe.
Smith said the issue of targeted sanctions came up in a number of meetings she held with some civil society organizations, political parties and Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa.
She said her government wants to re-engage and assist Zimbabwe to prosper.
US Ambassador Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton, noted that Zimbabwe’s primary task is reviving the economy.
He said Harare should clearly enunciate its business and investment policies.
Zimbabwe’s controversial indigenous law has been blamed for driving investors away and retarding economic growth.
The US and its western allies imposed the so-called smart or targeted sanctions on President Mugabe and his allies more than 10 years ago, citing gross human rights violations, the break down in the rule of law and failure to hold democratic elections.
But Harare says the sanctions were put in place as revenge for Zimbabwe’s land reform program that displaced thousands of white commercial farmers who held prime land at the expense of poor blacks who lived in overcrowded communities otherwise known during the colonial era as reserves.