Nearly a year after the formation of a national unity government in Zimbabwe based on the 2008 Global Political Agreement, talks on resolving outstanding issues troubling power sharing have come to a virtual standstill.
The impasse centers on the Western travel and financial restrictions aimed at President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF inner circle.
ZANU-PF has declared that it will make no further concessions until sanctions are lifted, demanding that the Movement for Democratic Change exert its supposed influence with Europe and the United States to achieve this.
But Washington, London and Brussels have given no sign of backing down, with British officials insisting this week that the only way sanctions can be lifted is if all parties to the GPA implement the agreement in full.
For views and insights on how the targeted sanctions have taken center stage in power-sharing and Zimbabwe's re-engagement with the West, VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira turned to political analyst and University of Zimbabwe professor John Makumbe and ZANU-PF Chief Whip Joram Gumbo.
Gumbo said Western sanctions are impeding progress by the government as it tries to improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans. Makumbe noted that the sanctions only affect about 200 people, mostly senior ZANU-PF figures.