Southern Africa today stands in unison as it defends its own. The war-cry being that the West must unconditionally remove all the sanctions that have been imposed on Zimbabwe for the past two decades.
Sadc declared October 25 an Anti-Sanctions Day to jointly express the region’s distaste of the embargo while appealing for their unreserved removal.
This kind of comradeship will surely bring results sooner rather than later. If the West has a conscience then it has to respond positively to this plea. Today is not just a commemorative day but one that seeks to produce results.
The African Union, the United Nations and others friends like China have all come in full support of the removal of restrictions.
They are all too aware of the harmful nature of the sanctions, not only in Zimbabwe but in countries such as Cuba where the restrictions have affected millions of ordinary citizens.
Zimbabwe is endowed with a rich natural resource base, but it is still to enjoy the full benefits because of the sanctions. The economy has potential to achieve double-digit annual growth but is hamstrung by the punitive measures.
In March, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterress called on the lifting of the sanctions against Zimbabwe. By the way these were imposed without the blessing of the UN, making them illegal.
Zimbabwe seeks no special favours from Britain, USA and their allies but only envisages fair and impartial treatment on the international arena in her engagements — social, political, cultural and certainly economic.
President Mnangagwa has been vehement in his call for Zimbabwe to be freed from these destructive elements.
He did not mince his words in his virtual address to the United Nations Diamond Anniversary yesterday.
“The people of Zimbabwe remain burdened and hamstrung by the unjust, unilateral, illegal economic sanctions imposed by Western countries. The impact of these measures on affected countries is well-documented and confirmed UN experts and humanitarian practitioners.”
“As the world marks the 75th anniversary and celebrates the UN Day under the theme “The Future We want, The UN We Need”, and within the context of the call for a Decade of Action and measures for a post Covid-19 world, let us remain mindful of the difficult circumstances faced by the people and the countries living under sanctions,” he said.
Those who see sanctions as fictitious are either pathologically naive or biased. It is easy to decipher that they are laden with sinister and selfish motives. They indiscriminately affect all, whatever their political persuasion.
We are all directly and indirectly victims and it is an indictment on those who hold such a view that they would rather cut the nose to spite the face.
A vicious cycle of company closures, job losses, reduced foreign currency earnings has been the order of the day according to a study by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the University of Zimbabwe.
The country has not benefited from multilateral finance facilities, while debt cancellation has just been wishful thinking and yet other developing countries enjoy this. The whole continent acknowledges we suffer the indignity and burden of sanctions. That includes those viewed as paragons of virtue and agents of progress. There is undoubted unanimity, borne out of this incontestable reality.
Let us turn another page and allow ourselves to soar to the levels we are capable of. We let bygones be bygones.
The repercussions on states and their respective citizenry are dire if not catastrophic as stated by the President. We need not look further than this country, it is a lived experience. Production capacities in all sectors of the economy have been retarded while in some instances people go hungry.
It is equally easy to see the vile intention — a restive population that will cause mayhem, compound its governance and lo and behold, change in Government. The irony is that those who supposedly champion democracy become its very nemesis!
Elected governments get their mandate from the people. Those in far flung places cannot and should not determine who goes into power.
Simply put, when they do, they become the “outposts of tyranny” themselves flexing their economic power and hegemony on hapless populations. The fake moral indignation they purport to have is thus brutally exposed.
The Second Republic has emphatically demonstrated its re-engagement drive. Zimbabwe brooks no grudges, our simple desire being to be allowed to interact fairly with other nations, unencumbered by sanctions.
In Zimbabwe, trade has been stifled, exports have been limited while local companies have succumbed to the debilitating effects of sanctions.
We live in a global economy. Just as no man is an island,no country ever is too, except in a strictly geographical sense.
We applaud the Second Republic, under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa, for coming up with sanction-busting initiatives.
The economy is expected to slide by 4,5 percent this year, but a positive 7,4 percent is anticipated in 2021. This is through efforts by Government to anchor recovery on home-grown solutions while such partners as Sadc countries, China, India, Russia and Belarus have chipped in with assistance. This country looks set to achieve the 2030 Middle-Income Economy Status. But the clarion call is simple — remove sanctions and let us breathe.