Analysts in Zimbabwe say that extension of U.S. travel sanctions to include more senior members of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party are welcomed but do not go far enough. The government has not reacted to the widening of the travel sanctions, which now include central bank governor Gideon Gono, a regular visitor to Washington.
David Coltart, legal secretary of the opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said the new U.S. travel sanctions are a stern message to President Mugabe to stop hindering democratic reforms in Zimbabwe. He said the extension of the sanctions to an additional 128 ZANU-PF members was a warning to Mr. Mugabe to reverse the draconian policies and laws he implemented in the last five years or expect tougher action.
John Makumbe, veteran political scientist from the University of Zimbabwe said the travel sanctions irritated senior members of ZANU-PF. He said he was pleased that sanctions included central bank governor Gono. But, he said, the measures do not go far enough and the United States should ensure that no children of ZANU-PF leaders should be given visas to travel to the United States on holiday or for study.
Veteran economist Tony Hawkins said the travel sanctions may have annoyed senior ZANU-PF leaders, but are largely ineffective in helping change government policy.
He said if they were extended to all children of ZANU-PF leaders, who mostly study in the United States, it might make a significant difference.
There was no one from the ZANU-PF government who would speak to the foreign press Thursday about the extension of travel sanctions.
The United States and Zimbabwe continue normal trade since the country's independence in 1980.