Obama to tighten screws on Mugabe?

Published on worldpress.org, by Charles Rukuni, December 13, 2008.

Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was one of the sponsors of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act ZIDERA *, the law that enabled the United States to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe, President Mugabe and his top lieutenants as well as companies owned by people reported to be propping up his adminstration.

Zimbabwe has blamed its present woes on the sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union soon after its fast-track land reform programme, under which it compulsorily acquired land from mostly white farmers and redistributed it to peasant farmers as well as new commercial farmers …

… More than 600 people have died in the past few weeks following an outbreak of cholera because the country cannot afford to buy drugs and chemicals to treat drinking water.

Donor support also declined drastically following the imposition of US and EU sanctions. It dropped from an average of US$138 million in the 1990s to US$40 million between 2000 and 2006.

Foreign direct investments had shrunk from US$444.3 million in 1998 to US$50 million in 2006.

Gono said one non-governmental organisation the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA) had pulled out of the country withdrawing support for all its projects.

DANIDA had been supporting agriculture, the country’s mainstay and had pumped in US$15 million into the sector. It also contributed US$48 million to transport and US$30 million to health. All three sectors have now collapsed.

Zimbabwe’s three key-political parties — ZANU-PF, MDC-T and MDC (Mutambara) signed a power-sharing agreement in September, but they have failed to seal the deal up to now, leading to speculation that the agreement was dead.

ZANU-PF is holding its annual conference next week. There is a feeling that the conference could be crucial to the future of the power-sharing agreement. (full text).

Links:

* Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001: on wikipedia, and on Zimbabwe Guardian;

Obama Unlikely To Differ With Bush On Africa;

Geopolitical Diary: The ‘World Electoral Map’, Strategic Forecasting, November 4, 2008.

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