LILONGWE – The Southern African Development Community(SADC) has reiterated demands for the removal of sanctions Western nations and the United States (US) imposed against Zimbabwe.
SADC believes the removal of the restrictions must be unconditional.
The call came at the end of the 41st Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government held in the Malawian capital, Lilongwe.
In a communiqué released at the end of the summit, the leaders also pledged to support Zimbabwe in the ongoing socio-economic strengthening efforts.
The 16-member SADC is among the most vocal critics of the sanctions imposed after the year 2000.
Western nations, including former colonial master, Britain, European Union (EU) and the US, imposed the restrictions following alleged human rights abuses and electoral fraud by the government of then-president, Robert Mugabe (now late).
It had its lines of credit at international financial institutions frozen.
The nation was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations.
Zimbabwe has vehemently insisted the sanctions are retribution to the takeover of farms mostly operated by whites.
Mugabe’s administration said the land programme was to address colonial imbalances, injustices and empower the majority blacks.
In 2019, a SADC summit declared October 25 as the day for the bloc to campaign for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, now under the presidency of Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa is set to visit the United Kingdom in October for a crucial global summit. It will make the first visit to the UK by a Zimbabwean president in over two decades.