Former United States of America Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Andrew Young, who was recently in the country on a familiarisation visit, says there is no justification for the continued imposition of the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe by Washington and pledged to play a part in calling for a review of the economic embargo.

The renowned civil rights activist, who was leading a 38-member business delegation from the USA which was in the country to scout for investment opportunities in Matabeleland North province, highlighted the need to mend bilateral relations between Harare and Washington so as to facilitate investments.

“I still insist that Zimbabwe lived up to its part of the bargain in independence and still don’t know why there are still sanctions,” the former Atlanta mayor said.

Ambassador Young, who once served as an aide to Dr Martin Luther King, encouraged Zimbabwe to reach out to the Zimbabweans living in the diaspora and most importantly to harness tourism as a tool in improving relations with the west.

Special Advisor to Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Stuart Comberbach said the political and economic reforms under the second republic justify the removal of the sanctions.

“We have a completely new thrust, there are political and economic reform processes underway. All these efforts surely justify a review of the stance on Zimbabwe by Washington,” he said.

In 1977, the then USA President, Jimmy Carter appointed Young to serve as the nation’s first African-American ambassador to the UN.

The diplomat was an architect of the USA-Africa policy and helped negotiate an end to white-minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe.