STARTLING revelations by former MDC senior member Obert Gutu that he and opposition officials lobbied Western countries to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe must be understood from various perspectives, which all border on crimes against humanity in so far as the lobbyists and sponsors of the sanctions are concerned.
Significantly, the damning exposure presents serious challenges to both the opposition members and the aggrieved citizens of this country, especially when it comes to the economic losses that the country has suffered.
Equally important is the issue of patriotism, which the opposition has time-and-again been found wanting since its ill-fated formation on September 11 1999.
But it is the West’s role in this saga which we have consistently highlighted in this country that cannot be understated.
Zimbabwe does not need apologies.
It simply needs the complete and unconditional removal of the widely discredited embargo.
There are no questions about why the MDC was formed.
The answers are there for all to see as its officials are finally helping the nation with titillating revelations of their role in their destruction of this country.
The MDC was formed with the specific intent to cause anarchy and chaos in the country.
It was formed to counter the empowerment of the black majority.
It was formed to curtail the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme.
It was formed to stop small-scale miners from extracting the abundant minerals that are at our disposal.
To his credit, Gutu has been sincere and man enough to own up to his role in this unfortunate debacle.
The expectation would be for other opposition figures like Tendai Biti to follow suit and go back to their handlers to push for the removal of the sanctions.
They should not only own up to their destruction of Zimbabwe; they should in fact and apologise and be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
Their sanctions have wrought untold suffering on the people of Zimbabwe and have affected the SADC region as a whole.
It is crucial to note that sanctions apologies did not start with Gutu.
A few years ago, former MDC member Gabriel Chaibva stunned the nation when he went to ZBC and told the nation that his then party had lobbied for sanctions as it sought to get into power.
Some of the actions by MDC officials bordered on ignorance and naivety, but most importantly, on their hunger for power and the greenback.
On March 12 2002, MDC founding leader, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, met a senior member of the US Government, Senator Russell Feingold, in Washington whom he told ‘to paint as bleak a picture as possible’.
Feingold found his task so easy to pursue as he executed it to perfection.
Which is why Gutu’s revelations are important to unpack.
“I would like to sincerely apologise to all patriotic Zimbabweans for having played a part in calling for the imposition of unilateral and punitive sanctions against Zimbabwe by some powerful Western nations. I’m very sorry and ashamed of having let down my beloved country,” said Gutu.
Gutu said the plan of the sanctions imposed by Western countries was “…designed to engineer a socio-economic and political uprising against the ZANU PF-led Government and replace it with a puppet and pliant government that would not only reverse the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme by giving back land to the white former commercial farmers but that will also, both directly and indirectly, take instructions from London and Washington DC in particular.
This was a grand plan that was oiled by big money.
No less than US$10 million was channelled to MDC over the years in order to push this regime change agenda that, inter alia, also took the form of so-called targeted sanctions.
These illegal sanctions are tantamount to a weapon of mass destruction ( WMD). They are anything but targeted. In reality, these demonic sanctions hit the ordinary people more than they hit the ruling elite in Zimbabwe. By closing all normal access to financial packages and loans from conventional sources such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, these illegal sanctions literally made Zimbabwe’s economy to scream for almost two decades.
While other developing countries in Africa and elsewhere receive financial bailouts in the form of budgetary support and funding for infrastructural development, Zimbabwe has been losing out on this front. Consequently, the cost of money in Zimbabwe has become unusually high compared to other Sub-Saharan African countries. Because money is expensive in Zimbabwe, largely as a result of the direct effects of these illegal economic and financial sanctions, the knock-on effect on the cost of doing business has been nothing short of catastrophic.”
In the same vein, and true to form, the US, on Wednesday, announced that it had extended the sanctions by another year, putting yet another strain to the ongoing reengagement efforts between Harare and Washington.
US President Joe Biden, who assumed office in January, claimed that the Zimbabwean Government was “…undermining democratic processes.”
The so-called democratic processes, according to the US and the rest of the Western world mean that Harare has pander to the wishes of the West.
“The actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States,” said Biden.
He said the actions had: “Contributed to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Zimbabwe, to politically motivated violence and intimidation in that country, to political and economic instability in the Southern African region.
For this reason, the national emergency declared on March 6 2003, and the measures adopted on that date, on November 22 2005, and on July 25 2008, to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond March 6 2021.
Therefore, in accordance with Section 202 (d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C 1622 (d), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288.”
This is why the country cannot continue to rely on the West on any form of friendship or otherwise.
The reality is that Zimbabwe is on its own and its survival lies solely on the efforts of its citizens who have thus far demonstrated that they are capable of taking the country forward through the many efforts they have taken, and are making, in the various sectors of the economy.
Those efforts are being jeopardised by the naivety of many in the opposition and these characters must be taken for orientation on patriotism and the ever compelling national question issue.
The expectation at the moment, which will be the first step in their rehabilitation process would be to apologise to the country for causing damage and untold suffering to the masses.
Sanctions culprits must own up.