Mozambique has threatened Zimbabwe with sanctions, after repeatedly warning Harare against imposing trade sanctions on a variety of goods exported from Maputo including alcohol, according to a report in the Zimbabwe media.
Pindula News reported that Mozambique’s Minister of Trade and Commerce, Rajendra De Sousa allegedly told Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the ban could be met with retaliation.
During a business seminar in Maputo, De Sousa told Mozambican industrialists that Zimbabwe had placed bottlenecks for trade between the neighbours in clear violation of the SADC Free Trade Protocol agreement.
The minister said that he told Mnangagwa that Mozambique could also close its border with Zimbabwe for three days which would complicate life for Harare.
A similar incident took place in 2017 with Malawi, after it too had banned several products being imported from Mozambique.
Mozambique closed its border with Malawi for several hours, after which numerous telephone calls were made and delegations sent to Maputo to resolve the impasse.
“Mozambique has this weapon, which is our geographical location. If they stick to the strategy of not using the law and using mechanisms, we will do the same,” De Sousa warned.
Mozambique is Zimbabwe’s closest gateway to the sea and key imports such as fuel, maize and wheat come through the port of Beira.