By Chido Chikuni
The opposition parties in Zimbabwe, MDC in particular, civil society organisations and other Government detractors have been unreasonably claiming that there are no sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States and their Western allies, and automatically viewing everyone who called for the removal of these illegal sanctions as either dull or a ZANU-PF sympathiser.
Many voices have been raised against the economic sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries.
No doubt, sanctions are a hindrance to any form of development in any given nation as the effects thereof are felt by the entire nation.
While appearing at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, Davos at the World Economic Forum, South African President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa joined other voices in denouncing the economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.
President Ramaphosa was reportedly quoted saying, “It is no longer necessary to have sanctions against Zimbabwe right now, because they have embarked on democracy and a path of real recovery and we will help them best by lifting those sanctions.”
Among other voices who have been calling for the removal of the economic sanctions are, South Africa’s Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni; South Africa’s opposition leader of Economic Freedom Fighter party, Mr Julius Malema; the founder and executive chairman of Econet, Mr Strive Masiyiwa and a local businessman and chief executive of Alpha Media Holdings, Mr Trevor Ncube.
Since President Mnangagwa took oath of office in November 2017, following the resignation of Mr Robert Mugabe, he has made it clear that Zimbabwe needs reforms if ever she was going to move forward.
The socio-economic and political reforms that Zimbabwe is currently undergoing are necessary to redress the economic challenges borne out of the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.
If leaders of other nations have seen it necessary that sanctions are hampering economic progress in Zimbabwe, why then should some Zimbabweans and the West bury their heads in the sand to their existence.
In fact, these illegal sanctions are abusing our human rights.
The US sees itself as the champion of democracy and human rights. But then, how do they ignore the suffering these sanctions have brought on ordinary Zimbabweans, whilst barely affecting the supposed targeted persons.
Denying Zimbabwean businesses to trade with other nations as they fear the US’ wrath is total economic abuse. Zimbabwe has industries that manufacture different products that can generate foreign currency for the nation.
Also, the nation has vast natural resources such as minerals, timber, gas among others that can be exported to other nations, but this is not happening to full capacity because of the sanctions.
It’s unfortunate that the MDC leadership, who are friends with westerners have been inciting civilians to engage in acts of violence in the country and provoke the country’s security forces during their so called “national shutdown” recently to further justify the renewed sanctions. When all is said and done, the agenda of the opposition parties is nothing other than illegally removing the incumbent Government.
President Mnangagwa has been calling for national dialogue to end the differences that exist between political parties in country.
Opposition party leaders, church leaders and civil organisation leaders should put the interest of people at heart, and commit themselves to national dialogue.
In the event that the national dialogue takes shape, leaders of civil organisations and opposition parties should be encouraged to also add their voices in denouncing the illegal economic sanctions for the nation to move on.