Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF, Political Parties Welcome UN Call for Removal of Sanctions

4 December 2019

Political parties have welcomed a high-ranking United Nations official's call for the immediate removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by some Western countries.

UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Ms Hilal Elver, made the call at the end of her mission to Zimbabwe last week.

This further discredits claims by the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) that the punitive measures do not affect ordinary Zimbabweans.

Ms Elver's final report is expected to be presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in March next year.

In an interview with The Herald, Zanu-PF Political Commissar Cde Victor Matemadanda said her call for the removal of sanctions was heroic as no British or American official had confirmed the negative impact of sanctions imposed on the country before.

"I am happy that a rapporteur on the right to food from the United Nations has confirmed that indeed sanctions are there and that good lady I'm sure is going to lose her job for having confirmed that, but what she did was very humane," said Cde Matemadanda.

MDC-T vice president Obert Gutu said the call by Ms Elver for the removal of sanctions was further evidence that far from affecting individuals, sanctions affected the general citizenry.

"It is indeed a salutary development when such a high-ranking global citizen such as the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Ms Hilal Elver, publicly calls for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe," he said.

"It's a no-brainer for any person of sound mind to continue arguing that there are no sanctions against Zimbabwe. The entire civilised world, including SADC, the AU and now the UN have called for the immediate lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe."

LEAD president Linda Masarira applauded Ms Elver's call and said sanctions were a clear violation of Zimbabweans' right to food as they continued to destroy the economy.

"According to the UN Human Rights Council, unilateral sanctions are illegal and a violation of human rights," she said. "I applaud Ms Hilal Elver for speaking truth to power in regard to how sanctions have caused food insecurity in Zimbabwe.

"EU and US sanctions on Zimbabwe are human rights violations as determined by the UN rapporteur's report on unilateral sanctions, in a report presented to the UN assembly in 2017.

"It is imperative for Zimbabweans to realise that our human rights are being violated by these sanctions."

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku welcomed the development saying: "It is a very positive development. That sanctions hurt ordinary Zimbabweans is a fact and that fact must always be taken into account in discussing the way forward.

"Solely because they hurt ordinary people, sanctions must be removed and in their place let us substitute with dialogue to address the issues being raised by those who believe in sanctions."

Ms Elver's observations add impetus to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU)'s push to have the illegal embargo lifted as they have crippled the country's economy.

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