Saturday, August 9, 2014

Targeted sanctions against some political leaders in Zimbabwe were actually hurting ordinary people

In a rare one-on-one stage interview he held with US president Barack Obama, Zimbabwean technology entrepreneur, Takunda Chingonzo, told Obama that the supposedly targeted sanctions against some political leaders in Zimbabwe were actually hurting ordinary people.Chingonzo said technology entrepreneurs looking to get technology or funding from US-based companies often hit a brick wall because of the sanctions."In our work, we got to a point where we needed to import a bit of technology from the United States. And so we were engaging in conversation with these US based businesses, and the response we got time and time again was that unfortunately we cannot do business with you because you are from Zimbabwe. I was shocked. This doesn't make sense," explained Chingonzo to Obama.In response, Obama said that the US is facing the challenge of balancing helping the people of Zimbabwe with what he termed "repeated violation of basic democratic practices and human rights" in the country. Obama agreed with Chingonzo that what was was needed were initiatives that enhance as opposed to retard the progress of the Zimbabwean people.The US president then suggested that projects be explored by Zimbabwean entrepreneurs together with the US to ensure Zimbabweans are not affected.He was adamant, however, that the US is set on sending the strong message about good governance in Zimbabwe.Chingonzo is in the US on the Young African Leaders programme. The founder of wireless internet startup, Saisai, had the one-on-one with Obama on stage yesterday at the US-Africa Leaders Summit in the US. - See more at: http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-business-sc-economy-byo-51797.html#sthash.vjF2Xz5d.dpuf

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