By Ndebeni Mlotshwa
Bulawayo — ZIMBABWEANS have condemned the renewal of illegal sanctions imposed by the United States, which they said would worsen their suffering.
They said the imposition of the sanctions, which is blamed on campaigns against Zimbabwe by its own opposition, displayed the double standards by the US in the upholding of democracy.
The criticism of the US and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance follows the recent signing into law of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) by President Donald Trump.
The US Congress passed the bill last month, setting tough economic conditions for Zimbabwe to re-engage with the country.
“If you compare Zimbabwe and the US, you see America are the worst of democracy in the world,” said Mtshumayeli Mlotshwa of Bulawayo.
“At least 1 400 civilians have been shot in Chicago this year, with over 246 fatalities,” he added, hinting at the killing of six protesters by the army in Zimbabwe during recent election results announcement.
MDC claims it won the elections, maintaining the outcome was rigged triggering violent protests in the capital Harare that saw destruction of property, burning of cars, among others.
“MDC’s big brother, the US has more serious issues to address in its own backyard. The common good of the nation far overrides the personal egos of Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti. They are supposed to be learned lawyers. Their naivety and immaturity is open to all. Zimbabwe needs to go forward and not be held hostage by a small group of people and their masters,” Mlotshwa said.
Chamisa was the MDC candidate in the presidential poll. Biti claimed victory for the party.
Entrepreneur Xolisani Ndlovu, also from Bulawayo, argued the opposition lacked patriotism by calling for sanctions against their own country.
He said in neighbouring South Africa, the opposition including the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) would never call for sanctions against their country even if they felt aggrieved by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Ndlovu cited the killing of over 40 people by police in Marikana in 2012.
“Unfortunately, our own opposition calls for economic sanctions that hinder economic growth and block credit lines because they lost elections to ZANU-PF. It’s nonsense,” he said.
Sithembiso Nyathi, a vegetable vendor, argued sanctions should have instead been lifted following largely peaceful polls, monitored by observers from the US and the West, who had been banned by the previous government of Robert Mugabe.
“However, our own opposition (MDC-Alliance) threw spanners into the work by inciting violence that marred peaceful polls resulting in the death of six innocent people,” Nyathi said.
Sibusiso Moyo, Zimbabwe’s foreign affairs and international minister, accused MDC-Alliance leaders for trooping to America to beg economic sanctions.
“The rule of law, freedom of expression, free and fair elections have already been accomplished in the new dispensation. The MDC-Alliance is now calling upon external publics for political expediency,” Moyo said.
ZDERA was first imposed on Zimbabwe in 2001.