Sanctions won’t change Zimbabweans

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THE lifting of travel bans by the European Union (EU) on eight Zimbabweans, but leaving President Mugabe and his wife blacklisted is insignificant contrary to what the European body would like the rest of the world to believe.
What we want is total and unconditional removal of all sanctions on Zimbabwe both on individuals and companies.
After all, these sanctions are illegal.
There is nothing Zimbabwe can change because of these illegal sanctions since the liberation struggle ushered in democracy as demonstrated by the regular one person one vote elections.
Moreover, Zimbabwe respects human rights (of course not including homosexuality) and these are enshrined in the country’s constitution.
And yet the EU lied that it was imposing sanctions against Zimbabwe in order to force the country to be democratic and respect human rights.
We all know the EU was forced to impose these sanctions by Britain after Zimbabwe restored the right to land ownership to all Zimbabweans.
This resulted in the Land Reform Programme, which saw prime land once owned by 4 000 whites being redistributed to over 400 000 black families.
Seeing their kith and kin lose land was too bitter a pill for the British to swallow.
Zimbabwe and their President had to be punished as an example to dissuade any other African leader from empowering their own people at the expense of the former colonial master.
To Britain, international sanctions were the answer.
That is why because of the trans-Atlantic Anglo connection, the United States simultaneously imposed its own version of sanctions through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act.
The aim of these sanctions was to see the Zimbabwean economy ‘scream’ as summed up by former US Assistant Secretary of State Chester Crocker.
This way the people would rise against the ZANU PF government and either vote against it or remove it violently.
Neither of the two has happened.
Instead, the sanctions have not only brought Zimbabweans together but the rest of the continent also.
The July 31 2013 elections demonstrated that no matter how loud the economy might scream, Zimbabweans are not prepared to sell their birthright.
Tsvangirai’s MDC which openly supported sanctions, but promised that they would be lifted because they had been imposed by their friends were humiliated at these polls.
Events at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) have shown that attempts to demonise President Mugabe have had no takers.
He will be the SADC Chair in August and is set to be the AU Chair early next year.
That is what the African leaders both at regional and continental levels want.
Bullet holes have also emerged in the EU sanctions armour after Belgium successfully negotiated the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
Back home, the anti-sanctions lobbying reached a crescendo this week when the very kith and kin of the Britons led by Heath Streak and Mathew Smith formed their own pressure group.
This is because all now realise sanctions have failed to achieve Britain’s intended objective.
Lifting these illegal sanctions piecemeal has no effect whatsoever in terms of influencing the Government of Zimbabwe.
The country is a shining democracy with entrenched human rights.
What remains real is that the EU sanctions are a cruel tool hurting innocent people.
The illegal EU sanctions as well as ZDERA have to be lifted, because no matter how loud the economy may ‘scream’, Zimbabweans will never forget why so many sacrificed their lives in order for us to be a sovereign State.

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