Zimbabwe Asks US to Inform Banks of Sanctions Relief

April 21, 2024
Zimbabwe Asks US to Help Remind Banks That Sanctions Eased | Report Focus News
Zimbabwe Asks US to Help Remind Banks That Sanctions Eased

Zimbabwe has reached out to the US, urging them to remind banks that Washington recently eased some sanctions on the southern African nation. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube conveyed this request to reporters during an online briefing from Washington on Friday. He stated, “We asked the US Treasury to issue an advisory note to US banks, indicating the lifted sanctions and signaling that Zimbabwe is open for business.” Zimbabwean officials actively pursued this matter during their meeting with the US Treasury. The delegation’s presence in Washington is centred around attending the Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

In March, the US revised its sanctions program, signaling that American entities could reconsider their approach to Zimbabwe, despite applying sanctions to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other top officials. Over the last two decades, the Reserve Bank of the country estimates that the country lost at least 100 correspondent banking relationships due to perceived high risk associated with sanctions.

Lawrence Nyazema, President of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, explained that local lenders rely on multiple correspondent banks in various currencies. He stated via text message on Saturday, “The primary focus is on the US dollar, where establishing direct clearing arrangements with US banks proves challenging. Most banks opt to clear US dollars through stronger banks in South Africa and other regions.”

George Guvamatanga, Secretary for Finance and Economic Development, assured during the briefing that Zimbabwe’s banks have robust mechanisms in place to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. He cited the country’s removal from the grey list two years ago as evidence of effective controls.