WHAT makes sanctions against Zimbabwe distinctly malicious is not only because they are meant to hurt the ordinary people, but they are also criminal because they are illegal.
They are illegal because such drastic a measure should have sought the approval of the United Nations (UN).
The US and its partners-in-crime deliberately did not because reasons for their unilateral imposition were entirely selfish.
It is ironic that these ruinous sanctions were imposed as a blatant measure to deny ordinary Zimbabweans of their basic human rights.
This they hoped would infuriate Zimbabwean voters, who would transfer their anger to ZANUPF by punishing the revolutionary party at the polling booths.
Maybe we should update the UN Special Rapporteur Dr Alena Douhan ahead of her imminent visit.
Zimbabwe was slapped with punitive economic sanctions, following the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme in 2000.
This programme was meant to give the majority of Zimbabweans economic and democratic benefits from a God-given natural resource
And no doubt this would improve the livelihoods of ordinary people by benefitting from their land previously owned by white commercial farmers.
At that time they were considered useful only when they were fit to provide labour.
Empowering the indigenes that way was anathema to the Western imperial ambitions.
Zimbabwe had therefore to be a good example to like-minded African governments especially with another revolutionary party in neighbouring SA.
That the illegal sanctions were meant to punish all Zimbabweans was never in doubt right from the very beginning.
Then US Assistant secretary of State Chester Crocker did not mince his words in spelling out the reasons for the sanctions in 2000.
They were meant to ‘make the Zimbabwean economy scream’, was his chilling exposition.
Don’t be fooled into believing that the sanctions were targeted as the US and UK would like the world to believe.
He actually hoped that the suffering povo would then literally tear ZANUPFGovernment ministers to pieces whenever they met them on the streets.
Later US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell, in 2005 described sanctions as ‘corner of US policy on Zimbabwe’.
By then the suffering masses had no illusion about what that meant.
Britain would not be left behind in the illegal sanction brigade’s desire to to make sure their evil measures got wide support by hook or by crook.
Realising SADC were greatest allies of the beleaguered Zimbabwe they were an obvious vulnerable target.
Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique have harrowing accounts about how they were threatened by Britain with harsh measures unless they abandoned Zimbabwe.
To make sure Crocker’s prophesy of a ‘screaming’ economy would be fulfilled, the American Congress passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2021( ZDERA).
Of all the measures taken to enforce the illegal sanctions, this is the most evil of them all.
ZDERA bars international financial institutions and multilateral development banks from doing business with Zimbabwe.
It also criminalises individual companies for doing business with Zimbabwe.
Local banks like PTA Bank, Barclays Bank, ZB Bank and Standard Chartered have all been victims of this illegal sanctions onslaught for transactions the US deemed aided Zimbabwe.
Retributive measures have resulted in banks downsizing with hundreds losing jobs.
Are these unfortunate victims the so-called targeted individuals
No, because the illegal sanctions are meant to topple ZANUPF at any cost by making as many people as possible suffer.
The blocking of multilateral institutions from doing business with Zimbabwe discourages foreign investment.
Minus investment job opportunities are limited and again it is the ordinary people who suffer.
And the blocking of lines of credit, inevitably adversely affects progress in industry, agriculture and mining and various other areas that need cash injection.
These are areas supposed to have the biggest number of employees.
Yet somebody has the audacity to lie that sanctions are meant to affect a few targeted people.
By 2019, the country had lost a whopping US$42 billion in potential revenue because of these unilateral illegal sanctions.
However, things might not look so bleak because since the dawn of the Second Republic, the country has embarked on numerous people centred development projects using its own resources.
Just imagine the rate of development if these evil sanctions were removed.
All patriotic Zimbabweans, SADC, the AU and even the United Nations, among other regional and international organisations, have all called for the unconditional removal of these punitive illegal sanctions.
Surely, it’s high time the voice of reason prevailed.