Zimbabwe: Sanctions - It's Time the West Listens to the People's Voice

22 October 2020

It is not just ZANU PF that is calling for the removal of the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West as punishment for reclaiming our land over a decade ago, the Church -- which is the moral compass of any society -- has added its voice to the growing chorus calling for the removal of the economic embargo.

Civic society organisations, the business community and traditional leaders have also lashed out at the West over sanctions.

But there has been a telling twist to the sanctions debate of late: opposition political parties, under the aegis of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), have also come to their senses concerning the sanctions mantra. They are calling for an end to sanctions on Zimbabwe.

POLAD's International Relations and Re-engagement Committee, in a study released recently, says; "The US government's sanctions are silently destroying the economic, cultural and moral fabric of Zimbabwe", debunking the lies that the sanctions are targeted at top ZANU PF officials and other companies and parastatals linked to the State.

This should be telling for the US, Britain and their allies that they should change tact. When a nation unites for a cause, and speaks with one voice, surely it is time for the global bullies to listen. After all, the voice of the people is the voice of God!

The truth is that the economic measures are hurting ordinary Zimbabweans as the country is isolated and cut off external financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and global markets. These global money lending institutions are political pawns of the superpowers used by the West to pressure peace-loving Zimbabweans to revolt against their Government and enforce an illegal regime change.

The hidden agenda is to keep Africans perpetually as cutters of wood and drawers of water for the West.

But Zimbabweans have seen the plot, and it will not work forever.

Beyond the Zimbabwean borders, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), where an influx of Zimbabweans are economic refugees has declared October 25 as anti-sanctions day to advocate for the unconditional lifting of the rogue and economic sanctions.

The day was set up after a SADC resolution to put Zimbabwe's anti-sanctions agenda on the map and to denounce the move by the West to punish Harare.

Immediate past SADC chair, President John Mugafuli of Tanzania, at the regional bloc's 40th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, virtually hosted by Mozambique, said the sanctions were hurting the whole region.

"During the 39th summit, we passed the resolution to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe which were imposed since 2001. In that resolution we approved October 25 of every year to be a special day against sanctions in Zimbabwe where member states will be conducting various activities including preparing dialogues and declarations against the sanctions on Zimbabwe.

"It is my strong belief that our nations will benefit if sanctions on Zimbabwe are lifted. It will offer an invaluable contribution not only to Zimbabwe but to the entire continent. These are some of the achievements we have been able to achieve during the past year," President Magufuli said.

African Union member states -- among them South Africa, the SADC region's economic powerhouse -- have stood by Zimbabwe's side in calling the West to order concerning the sanctions.

At the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly held virtually last month, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa -- who is the AU chairman -- reiterated his call for the removal of the illegal sanctions on Harare.

"To ensure that no country is left behind, we reiterate our position as the African Union that economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan should be lifted to allow their governments to respond adequately to the pandemic," he said.

The European Union, in February this year, eased sanctions on Zimbabwe after the bloc removed four individuals from a list of officials banned from visiting Europe and insisted its willingness for total removal of the embargo.

The four are Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, the late former Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri, ZDF Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda and former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe.

This followed the EU Council's 3 747th meeting where it said there are a lot of pointers to transition in Zimbabwe under the Second Republic, which is implementing economic and political reforms.

"The European Union (EU) remains ready to support these policies, as underlined in the Council Conclusions adopted on January 22, 2018. The EU welcomes the resumption of a formal political dialogue in 2019 as a step towards a more constructive EU-Zimbabwe relationship," said the bloc in a statement.

This is reality that the US should see and which was quickly seen by EU and Commonwealth bloc.

The unity of purpose in calling for the removal of the illegal sanctions in Zimbabwe and beyond should surely be a wake-up call for the West over the subject. Surely, all these people, and countries are not mad. It is time to listen to the people, since the West prides itself as "champions of democracy".

The West should give President Mnangagwa a clean bill of health and afford him a chance to turn around the country without any hindrance or let.

The world should say no to economic segregation. Zimbabweans should say down with foreign aggression. SADC should say no to political extortion and manipulation. We the people should say down with quislings.

The fight for economic freedom has just but begun.

Aluta Continua!!!

Dzivaguru is executive director for Global Economics Consultancy Group on Law and Economic Development. Meet him on [email protected] and email on [email protected] Com

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