Illegal sanctions: voice of reason must prevail

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ON Tuesday, those with ears must have heard, yet again, the reverberating calls by SADC, the AU and other progressive nations across the world, for the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe to be removed immediately and unconditionally.

For Tuesday, October 25 is a day reserved by SADC as Anti-Sanctions Day in solidarity with Zimbabwe. Not to be outdone, a few days earlier, the Zimbabwe electorate, the main target of these illegal coercive measures had thrown its weight behind ZANU PF in crucial by-elections. 

The reason is simple. The revolutionary party has been fighting tooth and nail to have these ruinous sanctions, which have had such a negative impact on lives of the ordinary people removed. 

And that is exactly what these coercive measures were meant to achieve. Former US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, addressing the Senate hearing on the sanctions bill, said: “To separate the Zimbabwean people from ZANU PF, we are going to have to make their economy scream ….”

Of course it would be the vulnerable Zimbabweans who would be expected to be deprived of their right to education, healthcare and livelihoods by a ‘screaming’ economy. And these were in turn expected  to punish ZANU PF at the polls.

But the Zimbabwean electorate’s  DNA is  at a tangent with that expected by Crocker and his like-minded allies.

Thus, at the recent by-elections, the opposition CCC credited with being the co-authors of ZDERA, was given a thorough hiding.

ZANU PF won five of the six contested wards with overwhelming margins. This demonstration of the anti-sanction sentiment is growing in intensity.

It is more so after the UN final report of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights by Alena Douhan.

The report, following her visit to Zimbabwe, recommended the unconditional lifting of these measures as dictated by principles of international law. 

The sanctions are illegal because they were unilateral and not blessed by the UN Security Council. SADC chairperson and President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, on Tuesday continued from where he left off at the recent UN General Assembly.

On behalf of the regional block, in his statement to mark the Day of Solidarity Against Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, reiterated his call for the immediate removal of these illegal coercive measures. 

He argued that the sanctions were not targeted, in the sense that they were meant to punish a few top people in the ZANU PF hierarchy. We have already got the answer from Crocker.

Russia, China and a number of diplomats added to the number of those who were in unison in condemning the illegal sanctions.

The US and others responsible for these heinous measures must have been troubled by this show of solidarity with little Zimbabwe.

Any justification or lies about sanctions are increasingly sounding hollow. 

As Zimbabweans from every region marched against the illegal sanctions in large numbers on Tuesday, the message that the sanctions, and not ZANU PF, had to be removed forthwith was very clear. 

This is contrary to the expectations of sanctions gurus, Crocker included. But Zimbabweans, like SADC, Africa and the rest of the progressive world, has not been fooled.

Sanctions are not targeted solely at top ZANU PF brass. According to SADC chair President Tshisekedi, “…sanctions had a contagion effect and had caused untold suffering on the rest of the population.”

Thus, on Tuesday, October 25, SADC, with one voice, has once more called for the unconditional removal of unilateral illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

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