Close this search box.

Zimbabwe Says It Lost in Excess of $150 Billion to Sanctions

Zimbabwe Says It Lost in Excess of $150 Billion to Sanctions

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Zimbabwe’s vice president asserted on Wednesday that the country has suffered losses exceeding $150 billion due to sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States, stemming from allegations of election manipulation and human rights violations in the early 2000s.

Addressing protesters demonstrating against the sanctions, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga emphasized that these measures also had adverse effects on the broader southern Africa region. He labeled the sanctions as an “albatross” around Zimbabwe’s neck, citing financial restrictions that have isolated the country from global access to capital.

“Since 2001, we estimate that Zimbabwe has lost or missed over $150 billion through frozen assets, trade embargos, export and investment restrictions from potential bilateral support, development loans, IMF and World Bank balance of payments support and commercial loans,” Chiwenga stated, condemning the sanctions as “heinous and illegal.”

Stevenson Dhlamini, an economics professor at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe, supported the $150 billion figure, stating that it aligns with the government’s longstanding assertions. Dhlamini highlighted the cumulative impact of sanctions by the U.S., EU, and the U.K., acknowledging their substantial influence on the economy.

However, Prosper Chitambara, a senior economist with the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe, expressed skepticism, noting that various factors, not just sanctions, have affected the country’s economy. Chitambara emphasized the complexity of isolating the effects of sanctions from other influences such as corruption, external shocks, or climate-induced shocks.

Following the protest, which primarily attracted civil servants and supporters of the ruling Zanu PF party, Chiwenga remained steadfast in his commitment to Zimbabwe’s economic resilience.

“Sanctions are really hurting Zimbabweans,” he acknowledged. “By now, we could have gone far in terms of our economic growth. Our sin is that we took land [from white commercial farmers] and gave it to our people. Nothing else. The rest they are talking about is nonsense.”

Chiwenga asserted that despite the challenges, Zimbabwe would prosper. The hopes of sanctions being lifted were dashed after several observer missions, including the Southern African Development Community, declared Zimbabwe’s August 23 general election as lacking credibility.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *