BROAD Alliance Against Sanctions (BAAS) has joined the growing number of voices calling for the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed by Britain and her Western allies that have adversely affected ordinary people in Zimbabwe.
BAAS handed a petition to the United States Embassy last week, calling for the removal of the illegal sanctions.
The alliance on Thursday last week marked its 355th day camping outside the US Embassy, where its members vowed not to go anywhere until US President Donald Trump and his administration unconditionally lifted the sanctions they imposed on the country.
In an interview after submitting the petition, BAAS co-founder and chairperson Mr Calvern Chitsunge said his alliance was hopeful that the US will realise the damage caused by the illegal sanctions and remove them.
“We are mindful of the plight of Zimbabweans as a result of the unilateral coercive economic sanctions imposed on us by the American Federal Government,” he said.
“We are also noting the impact of sanctions which do not augur well with efforts being made by the Government to re-engage the international community for the betterment of its people.
“We are hopeful that the American Government will listen to the suffering masses of this nation because of these sanctions and unconditionally lift them. Zimbabwe must be free from this.”
Mr Chitsunge said his organisation was aware that Zimbabwe was being punished because of repossessing land and those who imposed sanctions wanted land reform reversed.
“As ordinary citizens, we feel that America is using these sanctions to coerce the people of Zimbabwe to reverse the land issue,” he said.
“This is a repetition of what happened when slave trade was abolished. It was not the slaves who were actually paid for being abused, it was not Africa that was paid for its underdevelopment, but it was the traders themselves who were actually paid to abolish slave trade.
“Where was the brutal US sanctions when Europeans partitioned Africa and colonised it, brutalising and killing innocent Africans.”
Mr Chitsunge said alleged human rights abuse was another excuse the American government was using to justify the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“As BAAS, we strongly condemn any form of human rights abuse and we encourage superpowers such as America to withdraw these sanctions as they have caused a humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe as a result of stunted economic growth which has a bearing on socio-economic and political growth,” he said.
“As ordinary citizens, we regard sanctions as genocide and we equate them to weapons of mass destruction.”
Mr Chitsunge applauded efforts of reforms in various areas by the Government of Zimbabwe under President Mnangagwa.
“We applaud the efforts and reforms being made by the Government of Zimbabwe by repelling the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and replacing it with MOPA,” he said.
“We also applaud President E.D Mnangagwa’s hard stance against human rights abuses as seen in setting up the Motlanthe Commission and we expect his efforts to be complemented by the American Federal Government.”
Mr Chitsunge said they had since approached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for assistance to meet the Trump administration over the illegal sanctions.