Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe during his address to the United Nations General Assembly.
He argued that these sanctions were causing severe suffering for ordinary Zimbabweans and also negatively impacting neighbouring countries, including South Africa.
“The sanctions that are applied against Zimbabwe should also be lifted as they are imposing untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans, but also have a collateral negative impact on neighbouring countries as well, such as my own country, South Africa,” Ramaphosa said.
He said this while addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
Sanctions against Zimbabwe were initially imposed more than two decades ago, during the rule of the late former president Robert Mugabe, and have not been lifted.
[ON AIR] President Cyril Ramaphosa is speaking on the economic sanctions against Cuba and Zimbabwe. Ramaphosa is addressing the United Nations General Assembly Tune in to #DStv403 now. pic.twitter.com/xDDcIdtdV7
— eNCA (@eNCA) September 19, 2023
Ramaphosa’s call coincided with the European Union’s decision to withdraw its $5 million funding for the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) due to concerns raised by international observer missions regarding the recent elections in Zimbabwe.
The EU cited issues related to the ZEC’s independence and transparency in managing the electoral process, emphasising the importance of credible elections by electoral bodies.
Recent preliminary statements from multiple electoral observer missions, including the EU’s, “have raised concerns about ZEC’s (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) management of the electoral process, particularly regarding its independence and transparency”, the European bloc’s delegation to the country said.
“The European Union has formally communicated its intention to suspend its $5 million financial support for the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission,” the EU statement added.
The EU’s financial support is part of a programme managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and financed by a number of donors, including the EU, aimed at improving Zimbabwe’s capacity to organise elections.
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Composed by Betha Madhomu