The Chronicle

Sanctions on Zimbabwe — What they said

Bongani Ndlovu
SINCE the coming in of the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe has received massive support from the region, continent and the world for the lifting of illegal sanctions against the country.

Sadc member states last year set aside October 25 as the Anti-Sanctions Day on which the bloc engages in a number of activities to denounce the embargo.

The inaugural Anti-Sanctions Day was held last year and ahead of its second holding this year on Sunday, there have been growing calls by Heads of State and Government for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Below are some statements made by Heads of State and Government including President Mnangagwa on the urgent need to lift the sanctions.

In his address at the high-level general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this year the President said the illegal economic sanctions pose a threat to the country achieving sustainable development.

“Recently, the UN Secretary General; the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, all acknowledged the deleterious effects of the illegal economic sanctions on our country. These are a breach of international law and compromise Zimbabwe’s capacity to implement and achieve Sustainable Development, especially SDGs 2, 3, 8, 9 and 17. We, therefore, call on the General Assembly to strongly pronounce itself against these unilateral illegal sanctions,” said the President.

His South African counterpart who is also African Union chair, called on the international community to support the rollout of a comprehensive stimulus package for African countries.

Sanctions on Zimbabwe — What they saidSanctions on Zimbabwe — What they said President

“This will enable African countries to not only mitigate the health impacts of Covid-19 but to aid us in the immense task of rebuilding our shattered economies.

“To ensure that no country is left behind, we reiterate our position as the African Union that economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan should be lifted to allow their governments to respond adequately to the pandemic,” he said during the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly.

At the same session, held virtually because of Covid-19, Namibia President Dr Hage Geingob called on the United States of America to lift sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and Cuba.

In respect to Zimbabwe, Dr Geingob said President Mnangagwa has been pursuing reforms that will enable the people of Zimbabwe to get on a path of sustainable development and peace, but the sanctions undermine those efforts.

Sanctions on Zimbabwe — What they saidSanctions on Zimbabwe — What they said Dr Hage Geingob

“In support of the pursuit of economic development, unity and prosperity for the sister country of Zimbabwe, I once again call on the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe,” Dr Geingob said.

Kenya President, made a passionate call to member states to use the UN platform in resolving conflicts that were undermining economic development.

“I wish to make a special appeal for an end to the economic, commercial as well as financial embargo against Cuba, sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan. The United Nations provides us a platform; a platform to resolve age-old differences (to) unburden ourselves of these antiquated conflicts,” said President Kenyatta.

Sanctions on Zimbabwe — What they saidSanctions on Zimbabwe — What they said Kenyan President

Delivering his address at the 40th Sadc Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in August Tanzanian President Dr John Magufuli said the whole of Africa will benefit if sanctions on Zimbabwe are lifted.

The sanctions, Dr Magufuli said, hurt children and women the most and therefore world nations should join hands in calling for their removal.

“It is my strong belief that our nations will benefit if sanctions on Zimbabwe are lifted. It will offer an invaluable contribution not only to Zimbabwe but to the entire continent. These are some of the achievements we have been able to achieve during the past year,” Dr Magufuli said.

Sanctions on Zimbabwe — What they saidSanctions on Zimbabwe — What they said Tanzania President John Magufuli

In June this year, Rwanda President Paul Kagame called for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan as they struggle to cope with the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a summit of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, President Kagame urged the nations to “work to harmonise and amplify our voices on the continued need for our countries to have adequate fiscal space to respond effectively.”

Sanctions on Zimbabwe — What they saidSanctions on Zimbabwe — What they said President Paul Kagame

Early this year Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo called for the immediate removal of sanctions placed on Zimbabwe saying they are “unacceptable and unjustifiable” and hindering efforts to grow the country’s economy.

He was speaking while receiving Zimbabwe’s new Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Kufa Edward Chinoza at the Jubilee House in Accra, Ghana.

“We will continue to call on our peers on the continent to do everything we can to see that the sanctions are lifted as soon as possible so that Zimbabwe will have the freedom to develop to its full potential.

“Hopefully, soon, rather than later, we all should hear the good news from the collective efforts of all the African people,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Last year while officially opening the 60th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo, Uganda President Museveni unequivocally called for the removal of the illegal sanctions, which have been blamed for frustrating economic recovery efforts.

“On behalf of Uganda, I want to condemn the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe for such a long time,” he said.

“This idea of sanctions is cowardice.” — Follow on Twitter @bonganinkunzi

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