Zimbabwe: Minister - Ian Smith Busted Sanctions Because He Never Had MDC in Opposition

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister Mike Madiro

Home Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro says Zimbabwe's predecessor Rhodesian government was able to manage and steer the national economy to prosperity because it did not have a party like the MDC in opposition.

He was responding to questions by MDC Senator Douglas Mwonzora who had asked why the Zanu PF government found western imposed sanctions as an excuse for its failure to manage the economy.

Said Mwonzora: "The (last Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian) Smith regime had sanctions imposed by the United Nations and it also had war on top of that which was consuming about $1 million per day.

"They had strong businesses that the local currency was able to sustain and it was powerful, compared to so many other countries whilst under those sanctions."

Mwonzora added, "In South Africa, there was apartheid, they were under sanctions for a long time but their mines were operational, industries were running and employment was there.

"Why is it that our government is failing to think like what others who were under sanctions were doing? The Governments that I have mentioned were able to keep the local currency in a stable manner, so why not us?"

Madiro had a curt response to the question, telling the house that Smith was luckier in that he never had MDC in opposition.

"At least the Rhodesians did not have a political party in opposition like we have... " Madiro said.

The Zanu PF led administration accuses its main opponent in MDC of inviting western powers and America to impose sanctions on the country.

The sanctions have become a common excuse by government to justify its multiple economic failures.

Madiro scorned the MDC for always being quick to rush into comparisons and forgetting the context of the Rhodesian and Zimbabwean eras.

"Sometimes some of us love to go back to the past in order to justify their positions politically in the country but when they go back to the past, they are distorting issues. I am saying anybody who is serious about this country; we cannot forget about ZDERA," Madiro said of the US sanctions law against Zimbabwe enacted 2001.

"ZDERA has affected all of us, our factories, our businesses, we cannot access loans outside Zimbabwe because of ZDERA and there is a political party that brought about ZDERA.

He added, "ZDERA was not created by Zanu PF; it was created by the opposition in this country. As long as those conditions continue, as the ruling party, we will do the best we can and indeed we are doing the best we can under the present circumstances... "

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