WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2010. This new legislation will lift U.S. economic sanctions originally imposed on the African nation of Zimbabwe in 2001, and restore the country’s economy and aide in the nation’s transition to democracy.
In 2001, economic sanctions were imposed against Zimbabwe as a result of President Robert Mugabe’s oppressive leadership and fiscally irresponsible programs that collapsed the economy. These sanctions specifically directed the U.S. to oppose and vote against any extension of loans, credit, or guarantees to the Government of Zimbabwe as well as any debt cancellation or reduction owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
As a result of a 2008 power-sharing agreement engineered by the Southern African Development Community and the United States, Mugabe remains as President, but opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai holds the post of Prime Minister. Under this new government, the Zimbabwe economy is starting to recover and democratic freedoms are reemerging. Repealing the 2001 sanctions will allow the Zimbabwe economy to recover fully and assist in its process of transition to democracy.
“I am pleased that the African nation of Zimbabwe continues to recover under the new power-sharing leadership set by both the United States and the Southern African Development Community,” said Inhofe. “I commend the efforts of the power-sharing government there as they have reduced inflation and improved GDP and basic government services like medicine, education, and transportation. It is my hope that my legislation will help Zimbabwe return to being called the ‘Breadbasket of Africa’ and continue on the road to democracy.”