Mixed feelings after US eases sanctions against Zimbabwe


Anti-US' illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe

from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Bureau
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THERE are mixed feelings over the United States’ loosening of its two-decade long economic embargoes on Zimbabwe.

As a majority in the Southern African nation celebrated the sanction removal announcement while others argued the US had not entirely lifted the sanctions.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa led the reactions as he launched a major technology project in his homeland Midlands province on Thursday.

“The sanctions were illegal in the first place,” Mnangagwa said in the village of Somabhula.

“Nothing short of the total removal of sanctions will please us,” the president added.

He maintained the sanctions were unlawful and must be removed in totality.

“Under these heinous sanctions, we have remained united and continued to develop our country better than other countries who have no sanctions,” said Mnangagwa.

Some children of Zimbabwe’s freedom fighters meanwhile camped outside the US embassy demanding all of the country’s political leaders and businesses still listed on Washington’s restrictions be removed.

Members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), which has ruled the country since independence from US ally, Britain, in 1980 are on the list.

The Broad Alliance Against Sanctions lobby group continued to camp in front of the US embassy in the capital Harare, demanding all enlisted Zimbabwean leaders be removed from the US embargoes.

“We want all Zimbabweans listed in the illegal sanctions to be removed unconditionally. We have been camped outside the US embassy for five years now, and we will remain camping here until all sanctions are removed,” spokesperson Sally Ngoni, said.

Rutendo Matinyarare, Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Movement (ZASM) chairman, basked in glory of what he termed victory over sanctions that he termed illegal.

He nonetheless expressed concern that some leaders, including president  Mnangagwa were still enlisted in the US sanctions list.

“The US has removed all sanctions on the Zimbabwean government, government companies, parastatals, local government, ministries, departments and NGOs,” he said.

“Now they (the ZANU-PF government) can leverage and equip hospitals, build roads, refurbish infrastructure, build power stations and refurbish our rail infrastructure,” Matinyarare said.

He said that when he started the campaign against the US sanctions on Zimbabwe some five years ago, he was not given a chance to win the fight against the world’s superpower to reconsider its actions against Zimbabwe.

Matinyarare instituted a court challenge in neighbouring South Africa.

Some Zimbabweans accuse the ZANU-PF government of corruption and poor service delivery and hiding on sanctions.

Terrence Ndlovu said, “The government used to blame sanctions but now they are gone. We shall see what they are going to blame next.”

Simora Roell rejoined, “From now on, citizens don’t want to hear excuses about sanctions this, sanctions that (when it comes to service delivery!) Does it also mean that the ‘Anti Sanctions Day’ will now be scrapped off the calendar?”

Neighbouring countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional bloc have stood behind Zimbabwe and declared October 25 as “Anti-Sanctions Day.”

“The government of the Republic of Namibia stands united with the SADC region and the entire African Union in full support of Zimbabwe’s immediate re-integration into the global financial system,” said Peya Mushelenga, Namibian Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.

Outgoing SADC chairperson, who is also Angolan President João Lourenço strongly spoke against the US’ illegal sanctions insisting the regional bloc “reaffirms its unwavering solidarity” with Zimbabwe arguing SADC would not rest until the removal of sanctions insisting the extension of such were affecting the whole region.

Faced with sanctions imposed by the US and its Western allies, Zimbabwe has over the years embarked on the Look East policy. This refers to strengthened ties with Asian countries to circumvent the illegal but hurtful sanctions.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier stated:  “On the occasion of the 5th Anti-Sanctions Day, we join African countries to call for illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe to be lifted.”

China and the US are the world’s fiercest economic and political rivals.

– CAJ News

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