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Business leaders call for lifting of sanctions

They cited the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zdera) slapped on the country by the United States in 2001 as the main reason for the nation’s slow economic recovery process because of failure to access credit lines.
Zdera empowers the United States officials on various international finance organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to vote against any financial assistance to Zimbabwe.
“Zdera should be removed because it is to blame for the failure of the country to speed up the economic recovery process because of failure to access credit lines for industry,” Joseph Kanyekanye, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president told a business conference on Wednesday.
The conference was running alongside the country’s annual premier trade showcase — the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
Kanyekanye added: “Zdera should be dealt with and removed so as to unlock real economic growth.
“As long as there is Zdera, it will be difficult for the country to achieve quick economic growth.”
Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe told delegates that the inclusive government was “working hard to push for the removal of Western embargoes”.
“Zdera is a global political agreement (GPA) issue. It is being dealt with by the political parties and as I speak, our negotiators are meeting in South Africa so as to deal with that and other issues. It is being attended  to,” Khupe said. 
The business conference was held under the theme Optimising Growth Synergies in an Emerging Investment Destination: Turning Opportunities into Value.
The West imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe after violent elections in 2000 and 2002 which resulted in scores of MDC supporters being killed, while hundreds were beaten up, tortured or subjected to other forms of abuse.
However, the US and EU insist that there are no sanctions but targeted measures imposed on individuals and companies.
The EU renewed its sanctions in February for another year, but removed 35 people from the sanctions’ list, mainly wives of top Zanu PF officials.
President Robert Mugabe claims sanctions have destroyed Zimbabwe’s economy.
Zanu PF has since launched an anti-sanctions campaign, saying it can be used as a legal basis for Zimbabweans to sue countries that have imposed the economic embargo.

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