“I am continuing for one year the national emergency with respect to the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions,” Obama said in a statement. Both the European Union and the United States maintain a travel ban and asset freeze on Mr Mugabe, his wife and inner circle aides in protest at disputed elections and alleged human rights abuses by his government. The Southern African country is struggling to recover from a crisis that saw inflation peak at 321-million percent and supermarkets run out of food.
The crisis forced Mr Mugabe and his rival Morgan Tsvangirai to form a power-sharing government last year to mend the economy and ease political tensions in the aftermath of a presidential run-off election in which Mugabe was the sole candidate. But economic recovery has not been as fast as anticipated while political tensions persist. Zimbabwe’s descent into political and economic crisis began 10 years ago, when Mugabe lost a referendum on a new constitution that would have expanded his hold to power.