South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the lifting of economic sanctions on Zimbabwe because the country is facing “serious, serious economic” challenges.
He said Zimbabwe’s situation was a challenge for the whole of Africa and he planned to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a later stage.
Speaking in Geneva, Switzerland Ramaphosa said his country was seized with ways in which they can assist the northern neighbour.
“The Zimbabwe issues are a major challenge not only for Zimbabwe, but the whole of Southern Africa and indeed for Africa.
“Zimbabwe has just emerged from a very difficult political situation and the sanctions that many countries from around the world are hurting the country. They are currently in a serious, serious economic situation.
“President Mnangagwa and I will meet at a later stage to see what is possible about the economy, but sanctions on them must be lifted,” said Ramaphosa.
United States imposed restrictive measures on Zimbabwe at the turn of the millennium due to human rights violations and break down of rule of law.
Harare says sanctions have hurt the ordinary people. The United States says the sanctions are targeted at individuals and selected companies.
Meanwhile President Mnangagwa returned home on Monday night and immediately called for a national dialogue with opposition parties and civil society following a three-day stay away last week which claimed six lives after security forces clashed with the rioting public.
The shutdown saw people looting and burning shops especially in the urban centres. Opposition parties blame the security forces for allegedly killing unarmed rioting civilians.
In his first address since returning from Europe, Mnangagwa hinted that heads would roll within the security forces if some of its members were found on the wrong side of the law after the deaths mainly in Harare and its surround areas.