President Mnangagwa has to change Zimbabwe’s laws restricting media freedom and allowing protests.
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump extended by one-year sanctions against Zimbabwe saying that the new government’s policies continue to pose an “unusual and extraordinary” threat to U.S. foreign policy.
“The actions and policies of these persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States,” Trump said in a notice announcing the extension, adding: “I am continuing for (one) year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288.”
According to U.S. officials, there are 141 entities and individuals in Zimbabwe, including Mnangagwa and long-time former president Robert Mugabe, currently under U.S. sanctions.
The renewal comes despite calls by African leaders, including South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, for the sanctions to be lifted to give the country a chance to recover from its economic crisis.
Mnangagwa himself has in the past called for the sanctions to be lifted against the ZANU-PF ruling party, top military figures and some government-owned firms, which were imposed during Mugabe’s rule over what the United States said were human rights violations and undermining of the democratic process.
His government continues to single out sanctions as the main barrier to its bid to turn around the fortunes of the national economy.
Zimbabwe's opposition and civil society organisations however, insist that the current Mnangagwa led government has not done anything to see the country break from its bitter past under his predecessor.
The EU lifted most of its sanctions in 2014, but has maintained those against Mugabe and his wife Grace.