AS the rest of Africa and the progressive world join Zimbabwe in calling for the removal of sanctions, it is important to remind our young how and why sanctions were imposed.
It is crucial to look back in order to understand the thinking of the British.
When the Chatham House think-tank decided to facilitate the formation of the MDC in 1999, the British then thought this was a master plan that would lead to the fall of the ZANU PF Government.
The British would give their surrogates in Zimbabwe all the financial support and encourage the ‘international community’ to do likewise.
This was not surprising for even during the time of the liberation struggle, the British were never keen to see ZANU PF rule their former colony.
A reason to get ‘international’ backing to achieve their objective at any cost had to be found.
And with the Land Reform Programme in 2000, which saw more than 400 000 black households benefit from land previously reserved for 4 000 whites, the British were wounded where it hurt them the most.
After all, the reason for colonising territories was land and mineral resources
With their kith and kin driven from the land they so dearly loved and regarded as their eternal possession, the British went berserk.
They had now seen a reason to persuade the rest of the world to help them topple the ZANU PF Government.
And they thought sanctions against little landlocked Zimbabwe would see their desire for regime change fulfilled in no time.
So they thought!
The US, in 2001, and the EU, in 2002, joined hands with Britain in imposing illegal economic sanctions without seeking the approval of the UN.
They believed, under sanctions, the Zimbabwean economy would ‘scream’, thereby forcing people to revolt against ZANU PF.
Their prediction was correct.
The economy did indeed scream
But what the British must have forgotten was that the people affected were the very Zimbabweans who had stood solidly behind the liberation movements despite the atrocities carried out by the Ian Smith regime.
The humiliating demolition of the MDC-T, now CCC, at the July 2013 polls must have sent the message home.
On the other hand, Europe gradually realised that they had been plunged into a bilateral dispute between Britain and its former colony.
First to break ranks was Belgium, which was losing the lucrative diamond market in Zimbabwe to India.
Belgium saw no wisdom in continuing to cut its nose to spite its face just to please Britain.
Denmark, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland then joined Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy and Greece in opposing the illegal sanctions.
The call for the EU to normalise relations with Zimbabwe must have reached a crescendo when mega deals were signed with China and Russia. The EU realised that they were losing lucrative investment ground which would be impossible to recover.
And it now looks like their regime change will remain a mirage
For Britain, the reality is that their puppet CCC is now in disarray.
It is high time Britain and the US accept reality and remove illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe instead of tightening the screws — it’s an exercise in futility.