Cape Town – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday told US President Joe Biden that sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were affecting other countries in the region, as the situation forced economic migrants to leave Zimbabwe in droves in search of greener pastures.
Ramaphosa said this as he concluded his official working visit to the United States at the invitation of Biden.
The president landed in Washington DC on Thursday.
The two leaders deliberated on a range of critical issues of national, regional, and global importance during their bilateral meeting.
The US imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe over two decades ago.
“We also raised the issue of sanctions against Zimbabwe and argued that the sanctions that are imposed on Zimbabwe have a collateral damage on us as South Africa in that as they implement those sanctions against Zimbabwe, it weakens the Zimbabwean economy, resulting in Zimbabweans leaving Zimbabwe in droves going to neighbouring countries – South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
Ramaphosa speaks on his discussion with Biden about sanctions on Zimbabwe (enca) pic.twitter.com/SLbGBGPG57
— Zim Media Review (@ZimMediaReview) September 17, 2022
“And we then suffer collateral damage as a result of that because when they come to our countries, they obviously want services which we have to provide and it imposes a burden on our own countries,” Ramaphosa said during a media briefing.
There was, however, no word on Biden’s response.
But the recent US decision to add Zimbabwean Police Deputy Commissioner-General, Stephen Mutamba, to the sanctions list was a testament to the superpower’s clear position on where it stood on Zimbabwe sanctions, The Zimbabwe Mail reported.
Mutamba was added “for his actions that undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes and institutions”, the report said.
Earlier this week, outspoken US Senator Jim Risch tweeted that: “Biden should use his meeting w/@CyrilRamaphosa to urge the gov’t of #SouthAfrica to end its blatant misinformation campaign about U.S. sanctions & use its regional leadership to support democratic reforms in #Zimbabwe.”
Biden should use his meeting w/ @CyrilRamaphosa to urge the gov’t of #SouthAfrica to end its blatant misinformation campaign about U.S. sanctions & use its regional leadership to support democratic reforms in #Zimbabwe.
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member (@SenateForeign) September 15, 2022
Compiled by Betha Madhomu