Let’s All Stand Up Against Sanctions

On October 25, Zimbabwe will be joined by SADC in calling for the unconditional removal of unjustified economic sanctions that were imposed on it by America and her allies.

Regardless of political affiliation, religious or social status, we all have to take a stand in saying enough is enough.

Regionally, preparations for this year’s Anti-Sanctions Day are gathering pace, as Africa — in the spirit of Ubuntu — ups the ante in the clarion call for the removal of economic sanctions that were imposed by Western nations irked by the revolutionary land reform programme, which redressed land imbalances and fulfilled one of the major grievances of the country’s liberation struggle.

From the capitals of Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Namibia and other African nations, the call for the removal of the unjust economic sanctions that were imposed by Western nations, aggrieved with the loss of fertile land by their kith and kin, has been unequivocal.

SADC leaders went on to set October 25 as the Anti-Sanctions Day, and we at The Herald, the country’s biggest and oldest newspaper, stand with the region in calling for the unconditional removal of this albatross that is hanging on our necks so crushingly that we cannot breathe.

The punitive sanctions have damaged the country’s image in the eyes of international investors.

Indeed, the quest by Western capitals, like Washington DC, has been to see the back of Zimbabwe, a sovereign State, with equal rights in the world of nations and impose a puppet government fronted by the country’s so-called opposition parties.

Despite these spirited efforts to emasculate the people of Zimbabwe, we commend President Mnangagwa and his Government for being steadfast in the face of this onslaught, and we are delighted at the success of the Second Republic’s re-engagement efforts which have seen the call to remove sanctions reaching a crescendo that can no longer be ignored.

Even the US finds itself in lost land as it fails to justify the continued existence of the economic embargo in contravention of international law.

Last year, United Nations Special Rapporteur Ms Hilal Elver, after an official visit to Zimbabwe called upon “concerned member states (the USA), development partners and international financial institutions, including the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease the conditions imposed on the deployment of funds to the Government” and the termination of the illegal sanctions.

Also, upon visiting Zimbabwe in March last year, former United States ambassador to the United Nations and famed human rights campaigner Mr Andrew Young also called for the unconditional removal of the unjust economic sanctions, saying there is no justification, moral or otherwise for the continued existence of the inhumane sanctions.

Yet, the US does not listen, in what is clearly a demonstration of the arbitrary nature of its foreign policy of aggression towards independent countries like Zimbabwe.

It is common knowledge that the land reform program in 2000 was behind the US decision to impose illegal and unjustified sanctions under the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) of 2001, a misnomer given that there is nothing democratic about the whole law, a self-serving piece of legislation that sought and still seeks to determine the future of a sovereign state.

Today, the effects of the sanctions reverberate around all facets of the economy, as the country has no access to lines of credit with the latest example being the decision by world lending institutions not to extend any financial aid to Zimbabwe to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zimbabwe has not received any financial support from the African Development Bank since 1998, the IMF since 1999 and the World Bank in 2001.

In essence, the IFIs stopped their support to Zimbabwe by instituting a number of suspensions on Balance of Payments support, technical assistance, voting and related rights by the IMF, and declaration of illegibility to access fund resources.

But what is heartening is, under the astute leadership of President Mnangagwa, we are breaking even, financing our own capital projects such as infrastructural development as well as expanding power sources in partnership with friendly and progress countries such as China.

We take heart and comfort because we know that the Second Republic means business and has shown the world that despite the existence of the illegal sanctions, like true revolutionaries we can always soldier on, building roads, bridges, and empowering our people.

Our country is on the path to economic recovery and growth as the fruits of President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030, to become an upper middle class economy are taking root, through agriculture, mining and tourism, Zimbabwe is poised to become a regional giant by 2023.

And as the world, not only Africa, prepares to observe the anti-sanctions day on October 25, we are humbled by SADC’s support and take pride in the success of President Mnangagwa’s policies.

Indeed, we are in safe hands under the leadership of President Mnangagwa and only the blind in mind will fail to appreciate the tremendous progress that is taking root under the watch of an astute and pragmatic leader who is leading from the front in rebuilding Zimbabwe.

A look at how Zimbabwe has been able to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic is one of the best examples that against all odds the country can handle any challenge especially with a visionary leader like President Mnangagwa.

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