ILLEGAL economic sanctions unilaterally imposed on Zimbabwe by Western nations are motivated by a desire to slowly weaken the nation, leaving the country vulnerable to poverty, droughts and epidemics that erode national cohesion and confidence, a study by opposition parties established.
The findings of the study comes at a time when the country is set to mark the SADC Anti-Sanctions Day on Sunday, a day set by regional member states to call for the unconditional removal of the unjust and evil economic sanctions.
And since the United States and its allies imposed sanctions on the country at the turn of the millennium to strangle Zimbabwe into capitulation and reverse the land reform programme, the country has missed on accessing loans from international lenders such as the Bretton Woods institutions while successive droughts and the outbreak of pandemics such as Covid-19 have exacerbated the situation.
The study was done by the International Relations and Re-Engagement Committee of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) established.
"Against a backdrop of a multitude of challenges, such as more extreme weather caused by climate change and the public health and economic devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, our country has been able to make significant reform and put Zimbabwe on a positive journey forward.
"However, we remain under sanctions that are motivated by a desire to slowly weaken the nation, leaving Zimbabwe vulnerable to poverty, droughts and epidemics that erode national cohesion and confidence. The US government's sanctions are silently destroying the economic, cultural and moral fabric of Zimbabwe with persistent, vague, board stroke measures and misinformation" reads the Polad report in part.
And contrary to the assertions by the US that the sanctions are targeted, the study exposes the hypocrisy of the Western world as it engages in an economic warfare against Zimbabwe for daring to reunite the land with its people.
"This is evidenced by the fact that the 2003 Executive Order 13288 sanctions by George Bush were evoked through the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and National Emergency Act (NEA) using war and defence provisions.
Through it, Zimbabwe, in a succession of two amendments (SO 13341 & SO 13469) was specified as an unusual and extraordinary threat to US interests, national security and or economic interests".
Through such legislation "the US government has established expressed instruments and augmented them with presidential discretion to investigate, permit, license, limit, block, confiscate and prohibit (by mere instruction) any payments, transfers, financial transactions, trade, alienation of property and business transactions between US nationals, banks, businesses, global businesses and Zimbabwe, its institutions, persons and businesses".
Further, the report says, were it not because of the veto power that was used by Russia and China in the United Nations Security Council.
The country could have been placed on the UN sanctions in a brazen attempt by Western nations to reverse the land reform programme.
Zimbabwe has two sets of sanctions in effect against it.
The first were instituted in 2001 as an act of Congress after Zimbabwe's land reform.
These are the infamous S494 ZDERA 2001 sanctions which were just extended in August 2018.
"Contrary to the claim that they are targeted at politicians and their companies, the ZDERA sanctions are targeted squarely at disabling the Zimbabwean financial system by using US government directors in multilateral lending institutions to block any debt cancellation, extension of loans to Zimbabwe and or the continuation of any developmental project loans that were signed in Zimbabwe's favour previously," reads the statement in part.
With the Second Republic having turned a new chapter through opening up of the democratic space, as evidenced by the political pluralism that led to the formation of Polad and its re-engagement efforts getting the buy in from most of the world as reflected in the forthcoming Anti-Sanctions Day on October 25, the continued existence of the illegal sanctions is no longer justifiable
"Zimbabwe has begun to implement chapter 16 of its Constitution section 295 (1) (2) that addresses the anomalies on the land reform and particularly sub-clause the compensation to white farmers on the farm improvements.
"As Polad we understand that the land reform was the main reason for the imposition of these sanctions. The United States has to acknowledge the milestones that have been reached by the government of Zimbabwe and the Commercial Farmers Union in coming up with the Global Compensation Deed that will go a long way in addressing the issues of property rights and due compensations. US 3,5 billion has been mutually agreed on.
"There have been political and legal reforms that Zimbabwe has implemented, the repeal of AIPPA and POSA which are now at international acceptable standards.
"On this day, Polad does not only commemorate the patriotic commitment by opposition parties to be in solidarity on the unconditional removal of sanctions, we also applaud the Government of Zimbabwe for these progressive political reforms and at the same time rebuke and implore on the hypocrisy of the United States of America for not taking note of our improved and maturing democracy.
"The 25th of October is a day for sincere and patriotic politicians from the ruling party and opposition to set aside their political differences and speak in solidarity against the USA unilaterally imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and their impact on the socioeconomic status of Zimbabwe".
Civic organisations, opposition parties, the church and traditional leaders have added their voices for the unconditional removal of the economic sanctions that have bled Zimbabwe of billions with the Government revealing last week that without sanctions the country could have been flying high.