South Africa and Botswana have reiterated their call for sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe by Europe and America to be lifted with immediate effect.
"It is based on the belief that the sanctions, as I have raised the matter with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), are hindering that country's progress. Hence we are calling for those who have imposed sanctions to lift them," President Jacob Zuma said, following a meeting with his Botswana counterpart Ian Khama.
On Tuesday, Khama said Zimbabwe needed to be given a chance to "heal" and the sanctions were not helping that process.
"I was one of the people who were sceptical in the beginning...but the sanctions as it were are now starting to be a hindrance and we have to call on those imposing them to reconsider their position because the situation is better in Zimbabwe," he said.
Both leaders say Zimbabwe's instability was a potential barrier to the region's socio-economic development championed by SADC.
While the sanctions were probably "justified" in the past, it was now incumbent of the countries to lift the sanctions adding that the situation in that country had since changed since the establishment of the government of national unity, they said. - BuaNews