By JOHN CHIMUNHU|
United States president Barack Obama says sanctions against the Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe are necessary to send a message about Washington’s expectations on elections and democratic governance.
Obama said there had “been a repeated violation of basic democratic practices and human rights inside of Zimbabwe”.
“And we think it is very important to send clear signals about how we expect elections to be conducted — because if we dont, then all too often, with impunity, the people of those countries can suffer,” Obama said at the U.S.-Africa leaders summit in Washington Tuesday.
Obama said Washington wanted to work with groups of entrepreneurs on projects that “will advance as opposed to retard the progress for the Zimbabwean people”. He also told young entrepreneurs that his government wanted to “see if there are ways that we can work with you consistent with the strong message that we send about good governance in Zimbabwe”.
He said sanctions against the Zanu PF leadership should not punish the innocent, and the present measures could further be refined.
“The situation in Zimbabwe is somewhat unique. The challenge for us in the U.S. has been how do we balance our desire to help the people of Zimbabwe with what has, frankly, been a repeated violation of basic democratic practices and human rights inside of Zimbabwe,” said Obama.
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