Zimbabwe Seeks U.S. Support to Notify Banks of Eased Sanctions

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe estimates that at least 100 correspondent banking relationships have been lost over the last two decades due to the country's perceived high risk resulting from sanctions.

1 min read
Zimbabwe Seeks U.S. Support to Notify Banks of Eased Sanctions
Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe’s finance minister.Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Zimbabwe has reached out to the United States, urging them to notify banks about the recent easing of sanctions on the African nation as reported by Bloomberg. Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube disclosed the request during a virtual press briefing from Washington on Friday.

“We requested the US Treasury to issue an advisory note to US banks that they have lifted sanctions and that Zimbabwe is open for business,” stated Minister Ncube.

Officials from Zimbabwe engaged with the US Treasury to make this plea, as they attended the Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington,

Previously, the U.S. had imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe under authorities like the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) of 2001, which prevented Zimbabwe from accessing loans and investment from international financial institutions.

However, the US modified its regulations concerning Zimbabwe. In March, President Biden terminated the US Zimbabwe sanctions program, revoking the executive orders that had established it. This action unblocked all individuals, entities, and property previously affected by the sanctions.

But, the US concurrently imposed new Global Magnitsky sanctions on 11 individuals and 3 entities in Zimbabwe, citing allegations of corruption, human rights abuses, and election rigging.

The U.S. said this shift was intended to “refocus” the sanctions to “make clear” they are “not intended to target the people of Zimbabwe” but rather specific “clear and targets.”

Ncube emphasized that Zimbabwean banks have improved their capabilities in combating money laundering and terrorism financing. Their successful track record over the past two years demonstrates their competence in this regard.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe estimates that over the past two decades, approximately 100 correspondent banking relationships were severed due to the country’s perceived high risk resulting from sanctions.

Zimbabwe aims to forge stronger partnerships with banks worldwide now that regulations have become more favorable. “We are optimistic that with the lifting of these sanctions, we will be able to rebuild and strengthen our financial relationships internationally,” added Ncube.

Leave a Reply