The U.S. government says it has no intentions of lifting sanctions against some key Zimbabwean leaders including its President.
Zimbabwe held fresh elections recently but that won’t results in lifting of sanctions anytime soon.
The US government says it will only lift sanctions when the new government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa demonstrates it is “changing its ways.”
On Thursday the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Manisha Singh, told a House of Representatives hearing that there are 141 entities and individuals still under U.S sanctions.
Those individuals include President Mnangagwa and former president Robert Mugabe.
Singh said “Our pressure on Zimbabwe remains in place. We are trying to use this pressure to leverage political and economic reforms, human rights observations.”
“We want to see fundamental changes in Zimbabwe and only then will we resume normal relations with them,” she added.
A member of the panel, Rep. Karen Bass, a Democrat from California, said Zimbabwe was “trying to reach out to us now and I want to know where we are with that.”
Singh responded saying “We are always open to conversations. We are open to a demonstration from the government that it is changing its ways, that it is observing human rights.”
Zimbabwe held elections in August with President Mnangagwa being declared winner. The opposition challenged the results at the country’s top court.
The judges upheld the results. Mnangagwa was sworn in last month to serve a five year term.