Samuel Kadungure Acting News Editor
MANICALAND has added its voice to SADC’s call to have the embargo imposed on Zimbabwe removed unconditionally as the sanctions are not hurting only Zimbabwe, but the entire region.
Those who spoke to The Manica Post this week argued that the call for the lifting of sanctions was noble and indeed necessary as they are illegal, unjust and vindictive insofar as they seek to condemn the land reform programme and justify racially-induced disproportionate distribution of national resources.
They said the sanctions must go because they kill in as indiscriminate a manner as a silent war.
Zanu PF provincial chairman Cde Mike Madiro said all structures in Manicaland were in agreement with SADC’s abhorrence of sanctions.
“The major victims of sanctions are the ordinary people and it is a fallacy that sanctions are targeted. Zimbabwe Development and Recovery Act (Zidera) is a political tool to debilitate and hurt the life and economic prospects of the Zimbabwean people so that they would rise against the Government for the purposes of regime change. Zidera leaves Zimbabwe with no room to liberate itself economically, and as Manicaland we will join SADC in voicing our wishes to have the sanctions removed,” said Cde Madiro.
Makoni North legislator Cde James Munetsi said Zimbabwe has suffered international isolation and President Mnangagwa’s reengagement drive is thus important and necessary.
“The sanctions are evil, and should be removed completely. They are a deterrent to the economic development of the country.
“Whatever assistance, be it financial, technological or materially that Zimbabwe may require from other countries becomes difficult to get because the providers themselves also fear to be sanctioned by the Americans and their European counterparts.
“The debilitating effects of economic sanctions anywhere in the world are well known, and it would be disingenuous on anyone’s part to pretend that sanctions are harmless to the economy.
“Surely the President must not be sanctioned. He should be free to travel across the globe soliciting critical assistance for the people of Zimbabwe,” said Cde Munetsi.
The economic sanctions were mulled by Western nations, notably Britain and its allies against Zimbabwe for alleged violation of human rights, the rule of law and property rights, among others, but were vetoed by Russia and China.
Social commentator Ishe Donald Kamba Makoni said the veto meant that Zimbabwe should not be punished by any member of the United Nations.
“Zimbabwe got punished in 2001 through a multiplicity of measures under the so-called Zimbabwe Development and Recovery Act (Zidera), with the American Presidential Executive Order making it next to impossible for Zimbabwe to secure credit lines, balance of payments support and foreign direct investment, effectively decimating the economic life of the country.
“To the extent that Zimbabwe is under sanctions without the endorsement of the United Nations, it does mean that the sanctions are not only illegal, but indeed a declaration of war upon an entire nation. Zimbabwe is operating under illegal, unjustified and unfair punitive measures and its economic performance is drastically impaired, warranting their unconditional removal.
“The call by SADC to have the sanctions removed unconditionally and the formal lodging of such a position on October 25 indicates in unequivocal terms that sanctions are hurting not only Zimbabwe, but also the region and by extension the continent of Africa as a whole,” said Ishe Kamba Makoni.
Businessman Mr Cleopas Mugomba, who was recently in Japan with President Mnangagwa, for the 2019 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), a platform Zimbabwe uses to court Japanese investors, argued that the prejudice of countries that imposed sanctions was backed by their hold on international finance and trade with those willing to do business with Zimbabwe being discouraged as any detectable financial transactions are punishable.
“Lots of investors are willing to come to Zimbabwe, some have signed MoUs, but it is difficult for them since any traceable financial transactions with Zimbabwe are punishable. Life will be made difficult for those who invest in Zimbabwe, and Americans are very good at that.
“I was in Japan recently, and I can tell you that there are ready investors out there being inhibited by the sanctions, so they must go to free Zimbabwe,” said Mr Mugomba.