Incoming SADC chairman and Tanzanian President John Magufuli has called for the unequivocal lifting of Western sanctions on Zimbabwe to give the country a chance to realize its full potential.

Magufuli, who is on a two-day working visit to Zimbabwe, said this on Tuesday night at a state banquet held for him by his Zimbabwean counterpart President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He said Zimbabwe had turned a new leaf under the administration of Mnangagwa and deserved to be given a chance, state news agency New Ziana reported.

He said under the new leadership, the country had made significant economic gains, including attracting record investment and registering positive economic growth.

“If these achievements will be sustained, and with the support of the international community, Zimbabwe will surely turn a leaf. In this respect I wish to call on the international community to lift sanctions on the brotherly country Zimbabwe,” Magufuli said.

He said Zimbabwe had opened a new chapter and was ready to engage with the rest of the world.

The Tanzanian leader said the embargo, which has been in place for nearly two decades, largely affected the poor, women and children.

The government has blamed the Western embargo for fuelling the country’s economic challenges over the past 20 years.

Mnangagwa and Magufuli lauded the two countries’ strong political relations, but stressed the need to extend the ties to economic and trade cooperation. Enditem

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