Monday, November 26, 2007

(HERALD) Lift sanctions against Zim immediately — region

Lift sanctions against Zim immediately — region
Herald Reporter

SADC has once again reaffirmed its support for and solidarity with Zimbabwe and called for the immediate lifting of sanctions against the country. Yesterday, Namibian Minister of Health Dr Richard Kamwi, speaking at the launch of the Sadc Malaria Week, said: "Sadc has resolved that I affirm that we stand by Zimbabwe. I affirm that we continue to stand by Zimbabwe and value the immense contribution of this blessed land to the Southern African region in particular and to the rest of the African continent in general.

"We are, therefore, calling for the immediate lifting of sanctions imposed on our sister country," Dr Kamwi said.

He said it was no secret that the solidarity between member states had always been there and would continue and stand the test of time.

"We stood by, supported, sheltered and encouraged one another during our struggles for liberation and in the great days when independence was achieved we embraced one another and shared our experiences to chart a united way forward proudly as self-governing states," he said.

Dr Kamwi said this spirit, resolve and dedication continued to characterise the solidarity of the Sadc region.

"It’s commendable that a sense of unity has infused our ministerial meeting and the commemoration this morning (yesterday)," he said.

Dr Kamwi applauded Zimbabwe for progressing despite the imposition of illegal sanctions by Britain and her allies.

"We admire Zimbabwe’s steadfast progress. Notwithstanding the immense pressure from Western governments and their sponsors, and third party pressure groups, Sadc, through our Heads of State, has remained resolute through thick and thin," he added.

"There can be no doubt, therefore, that with so many friends and support, the success of the two Sadc events graciously hosted by Zimbabwe are but examples of the success, victorious being one," he said.

Dr Kamwi said ministers of health praised Zimbabwe as it had, against all odds, continued to register striking achievements in the health sector.

He added that Zimbabwe recorded a decline in the HIV and Aids prevalence and managed to provide ARV treatment to more than 91 000 people living with HIV and Aids.

It also recorded a decline of maternal infection, the under five mortality rate, a fall in reported malaria cases and deaths and had been able to train rural health workers.

Dr Kamwi said the reason why he was outlining all "these victories" was to underscore the point that hardships had only served to illustrate the resilience and innovation that had been engendered by Zimbabwe’s principled commitment to addressing these critical issues.

"In Zimbabwe, as is the case in Cuba, these victories in the face of (economic impediments) serve as an inspiration for other states in the Sadc region. We are inspired by your example to champion and prioritise the betterment of the health of all your people," he said.

He also praised Zimbabwe for setting up the first ever bio-diesel plant on the continent, which he said would go a long way in addressing the country’s fuel shortages.

"I was watching ZBC news last night when I came across a milestone development of the bio-diesel plant commissioned by you, President Mugabe. I realised that Zimbabwe is also rich in science and technology. We commend you for setting up this first of its kind plant in Africa. This is yet another example of excellent leadership," Dr Kamwi said.



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