IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
October 4, 2011
Mr. Inhofe introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
To repeal the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001.
This Act may be cited as
Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of
Congress makes the following findings:
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe and leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, has ruled Zimbabwe for 31 years.
During President Mugabe’s regime, Zimbabwe has gone from being the bread basket of Africa to the world’s fastest shrinking economy.
In 2000, the Government of Zimbabwe initiated a farmland redistribution program, designed to reallocate foreign commercial farmland to poor and middle-class citizens of Zimbabwe.
The farmland redistribution program—
led to the confiscation of industrial, fertile, and previously settled lands, and mass chaos;
undermined the Constitution of Zimbabwe; and
caused more than 400,000 farmers to lose their homes and livelihoods.
In 2005, President Mugabe implemented a project known as Operation Murambatsvina, translated into English as Operation Clean Out the Filth.
Under Operation Clean Out the Filth, the Mugabe regime bulldozed and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, leading to an estimated 700,000 internally displaced persons, of whom 569,685 are still displaced.
The majority of the people of Zimbabwe live on less than $1 per day.
The 95 percent unemployment rate in Zimbabwe has forced an estimated 3,000,000 of the people of Zimbabwe, representing 25 percent of the overall population, to migrate to neighboring countries.
All of these actions by President Mugabe’s regime have caused significant and persistent economic hardships in Zimbabwe.
On March 29, 2008, a presidential election was held between President Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.
Of the votes cast in the presidential election—
Tsvangirai received 47.9 percent;
President Mugabe received 43.2 percent; and
Simba Mankoni, of the Mavambo Kusile Dawn Party, received 8.3 percent.
Because Tsvangirai failed to achieve 50 percent of the votes needed to win outright, a run-off was scheduled for June 27, 2008.
declared that he would not relinquish power regardless of the election outcome;
directed a crackdown on opposition parties; and
Only God, who appointed me, will remove me..
As many as 400 members and supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change were killed during the run-off campaign period.
dropped out of the run-off race, and took refuge in the Embassy of the
Netherlands, stating that he could not ask people to vote
when that vote
could cost them their lives.
The violence surrounding this unfair election came to the world’s attention and specifically to that of the Southern African Development Community, compromised of 15 southern African countries, and the United States.
Pressure from the Southern African Development Community and the United States led to the creation of a power-sharing agreement between Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and Tsvangirai and Mutambara’s respective wings of the Movement for Democratic Change Party. This agreement, which is known as the Global Political Agreement, became effective on September 15, 2008.
The Parliament of Zimbabwe amended the Constitution of Zimbabwe to allow for the creation of the power-sharing government.
While Mugabe retained the office of President, Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on February 11, 2009, and Tendai Biti was appointed Minister of Finance by Prime Minister Tsvangirai.
Since the appointment of Biti as Minister of Finance, the economy of Zimbabwe has seen remarkable recovery in a short period of time. Minister Biti dollarized the Zimbabwean economy to combat inflation. By using stable foreign currencies, the 2008 annual inflation rate of 15,000,000,000 percent was reduced to the current 2011 rate of 2.5 percent.
During Biti’s tenure as Minister of Finance, the real gross domestic product (GDP) of Zimbabwe has also improved. In 2008, the real GDP in Zimbabwe was contracting at a rate of negative 14.4 percent. Current projections estimate that the real GDP in Zimbabwe will increase by 9.3 percent during 2011.
The salaries of government employees have also been reissued, allowing those employed in basic government services like medicine, education, and transportation to return to work.
The overall economy and well-being of the citizens of Zimbabwe have made tremendous advances since Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic Change gained power-sharing authority in the Government of Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Public Law 107–99; 22 U.S.C. 2151 note), which was enacted into law in 2001, imposed sanctions on the Mugabe regime and members of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
Section 4(c) of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 specifically directs the United States Executive Director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against—
any extension by the institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or
any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
Repealing the sanctions imposed under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 that burden the power-sharing government in Zimbabwe is necessary—
to fully restore the economy of Zimbabwe; and
to assist Zimbabwe in transitioning to democracy.
Repeal of Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001
The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Public Law 107–99; 22 U.S.C. 2151 note) is repealed.