The United States’ disappointment with Zimbabwe’s government is continuously growing amid the violent response of authorities to any form of opposition, a senior State Department official said on Monday. The statement follows a crackdown against protesters last week.
“The disappointment just keeps getting worse and worse, unfortunately,” the official said, reported Reuters. “The government seems to be getting even more violent in their response to any form of opposition.”
The official said Washington had made clear to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government about the measures that would improve relations between Zimbabwe and the United States. U.S. officials have previously called on Mnangagwa to make changes to Zimbabwe’s laws restricting media freedom and allowing protests.
Last week, the Mnangagwa government banned anti-government protests by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The opposition party accuses the government authorities of political repression and mismanaging the economy. In order to disperse crowds during the protests, the police fired tear gas and even barred access to the MDC’s Harare offices.
The people of Zimbabwe have taken to the streets to protest against the triple-digit inflation, rolling power cuts and shortages of U.S. dollars, fuel and bread.
In March, President Donald Trump extended U.S. sanctions against 100 entities and individuals in Zimbabwe, including Mnangagwa, by one year saying the government had failed to bring about political and economic changes.
In related news, Zimbabwe received a negative US$2 million worth of investments from the US government last year, a huge drop from the US$37 million.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States Department of Commerce (BEAUSDC), US direct investment in Africa dropped by nearly 5 percent in 2018 to US$47,8 billion from a comparative of US$50,3 billion in 2017.