from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – SOUTHERN Africa is amplifying calls for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and some Western nations.
The calls for the removal of the restrictions are under the aegis of the Southern African Development (SADC) Anti-sanctions Day, marked yearly on October 25.
Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo, SADC Chairperson, reaffirms the bloc’s solidarity with the Zimbabwe, and reiterates the calls for the unconditional and immediate lifting of sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwean individuals and institutions.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President said SADC was deeply concerned at the claim that the sanctions were of a “targeted nature” and are aimed at unilaterally punishing a few individuals.
“The reality is that there is a spill-over and contagion effect on the rest of the country, in particular by imposing a blanket negative perception about Zimbabwe across the world, in particular in the sensitive global financial markets,” he said.
Tshilombo said perceptions that resulted in Zimbabwe being unable to attract much needed foreign direct investment, lines of credit and other financial services also stalled recovery from at least two years of the socially and economically crippling COVID-19 pandemic.
This has been compounded by a general rise in inflation across the world.
“Zimbabwe, like most developing countries is particularly vulnerable to these trends and the unilateral sanctions worsen the plight of her economy,” Tshilombo said.
On Tuesday, Pan-African Parliamentarians from SADC had a caucus in Midrand, South Africa to call for the immediate removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Earlier, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangag said the sanctions regime undermined tenets of the ‘human factor’ approach of nations in pursuit of sustainable socio-economic development.
“They (sanctions) are an attack on the freedoms and sovereignty of Zimbabwe,” the president said.
Mnangagwa said the sanctions defied the fundamentals and precepts of international law as well as challenged the notion of equality of nations and the values of global governance enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
“I reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional removal of the legal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe,” Mnangagwa concluded.
Countries that imposed the sanctions in the early 2000s claimed human rights violations and electoral fraud by the government of former president Robert Mugabe (now late).
Critics dismiss this as a ploy to destabilize Zimbabwe after the government repossessed land colonial settlers had dispossessed locals.
The instability after sanctions in Zimbabwe is felt in the SADC region as scores flee the economic crises in Zimbabwe.
– CAJ News