President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa yesterday said sanctions imposed on the country by western countries should not be removed.

He said sanctions are a blessing in disguise as they have triggered the government to “think outside the box” and innovate.

Mnangagwa made the remarks at Hwange Stadium during the commissioning of Hwange Thermal Power Station’s Units 7 and 8.

“We have had sanctions for the last 23 years now.

“We have resources that keep us alive despite the sanctions. In fact, I for one would say let the sanctions stay because they make us think outside the box and become innovative.”

His sentiments come at the time the country’s economy is performing badly. With a number of things like infrastructure, social services in disarray

The government over the years blamed sanctions for its shortcomings.

Western countries imposed the restrictive measures against the country over human rights abuses and lack of respect for property rights.

However, the government says the sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe as punishment for taking back its land.