Monday, February 08, 2010

(NEWZIMBABWE) Sanctions debate: should they be lifted?

COMMENT - Voice Of America is a joke. There is no question on whether economic sanctions exist, or whether their effect has been devastating on the Zimbabwean economy (gee, would freezing the government's credit lines in 2002 and forcing the government to operate on a cash only basis have a negative effect on the economy, for instance to the extent of causing massive inflation and destroying the national currency? I don't know... But the 'sanctions should stay'). The Rhodesians are not identified as such, but they all agree 'sanctions should stay'. And ZIMRIGHTS is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which is funding 'regime change' across the world. And they should have a say in the national debate of Zimbabwe? They should determine the debate, instead of the Zimbabwean people? (For a complete list of NED grant recipients in Zimbabwe, see here.) For an overview of the sanctions in place against Zimbabwe see, The Post's editorial and my comments on the demonstrable effects of economic sanctions here.

Sanctions debate: should they be lifted?
by Violet Gonda
08/02/2010 00:00:00

Talks to resolve outstanding issues in Zimbabwe's power sharing government have collapsed in a row over international sanctions on the country. SW Radio Africa's Violet Gonda asks some prominent Zimbabwean political commentators: Should they be lifted?

Broadcast: February 5, 2010
VIOLET GONDA: Sanctions: Should they be lifted? In this week’s Hot Seat Programme, I ask a number of Zimbabweans from various walks of life, what they think about this issue. Zanu PF has warned there will be no more GPA concessions until the sanctions imposed by Western countries are removed. Parliament has seen heated discussions on this topic with Zanu PF insisting that the MDC should demand the removal of the restrictive measures. Some say the time has come for sanctions to be removed, but others claim the sanctions are targeted on particular individuals who are guilty of serious human rights abuses and have still not admitted wrong doing. In the next two weeks the European Union will be reviewing their measures, but what are Zimbabweans saying?

Hi, my name is TERESA MUGADZA (political analyst). My thoughts on the sanctions, I think until we start having an honest debate on what we are actually talking about it is premature and I think unfair to either call for the immediate removal of sanctions or the continuance of sanctions. I think one of the key things that needs to happen with the discussion around sanctions, restrictions, whatever you want to call them, is to actually have an honest debate around what it is that has happened -because I think when you listen to the different sides in this debate, what you get is a sense that there are people who are talking about just a travel ban as the sum total of sanctions and that’s all what it is.

I think there’s ample proof now that suggest that beyond the travel ban, beyond the voting rights in the Bretton Woods Institutions what you actually have are economic restrictions against Zimbabwe. And I think to the extent that we have restrictions on trade, either directly through statutes coming from donor countries or otherwise, there is need to begin to think about reviewing the situation on the ground - because I think the starting point for most of these restrictions was that there was no democracy in Zimbabwe, there were no steps being taken to return to democracy in Zimbabwe. And I think what you see now, although at a very slow pace, we have seen I think some positive steps towards the restoration of democracy. But also I think the argument around whether or not you should remove sanctions now or at a later stage when certain fundamentals have been met is the chicken and egg discussion.

What should happen first because there is a level at which we need to have some economic activity happening in the country to facilitate some of the democratic processes that we need to have. So I think it’s important to have number one, a very honest discussion what it is we are talking about when you talk about economic restrictions or sanctions as you call them. Number two, I think it’s also important to look at the current situation and also have honest engagement around some of the, I think, positive steps and positive efforts that are happening in the context of the inclusive government.

And finally I think it is also important to not of course, totally ignore the situation that led to the economic restrictions or sanctions, whatever you call them, in the first place. So I think it is a multi-layered sort of discussion that we need to have and I think it’s sad, it’s a sad day when you begin to have discussions around ‘we will not have any more discussions until sanctions are removed’, given that in most cases it is not within the power of those that are called upon to push for the removal of sanctions. I think also there have been misconceptions, incorrect perceptions of what certain elements can or cannot do in this, the sanctions saga. So it’s at many levels Violet.

My name is INNOCENT CHOFAMBA SITHOLE. I’m a Zimbabwean journalist based in London, the UK. My view about the sanctions is that first of all we need to be very clear which sanctions we are talking about. We’ve got travel restrictions on key members of the old regime, the old Zanu PF regime, they are barred from travelling to Europe and the United States and there’s an asset freeze on their assets and their financial interest, which may be in these countries. Secondly we’ve got the ZEDERA, the Zimbabwe Economic and Democracy Recovery Act, passed by the US in 2000 and this has a broader effect because it touches on the economic situation in the country. It bars companies in which the US has an interest from doing business with Zimbabwean companies or with the Zimbabwean government. And secondly we also have European sanctions on at least 40 companies and parastatals from Zimbabwe, which are said to be underpinning the old regime of Robert Mugabe.

[COMMENT - At this day and time, can this be the best informed opnion of ZDERA at the table. Ok, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 came into effect in 2002, not 2000. Then, these sanctions specifically freeze the government's credit lines at the IMF and World Bank banking institutions, like the African Development Bank and Asian Development Bank, a total of 9 are specified. - MrK]

My view is that with respect to sanctions relating to the country’s economy – those should go. Those sanctions which bar multi lateral financial institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank from doing business with Zimbabwe and other such financial interests outside of Zimbabwe from doing business with Zimbabwean companies or with the Zimbabwean government, those sanctions indeed must be removed in order to enable the economic recovery, the massive economic recovery that is underway in Zimbabwe to proceed to fruition.

The MDC has come into this government and as a result it is no longer purely the old regime that attracted these sanctions in the first place, but this is a transitional government. A transitional government I must say which is made up of a component that is a product of the peoples’ will through the March 2008 elections. And so to give effect to popular expression, those sanctions that have to do with economic performance in Zimbabwe must indeed go. It makes life easier for the generality of Zimbabweans and indeed those sanctions did make life difficult for Zimbabweans. You can imagine Zimbabwean entrepreneurs and companies failing to access international finance and indeed the government itself failing to access a balance of payment support on account of these sanctions and major parastatals like Zisco Steel for example failing to do business with foreign partners on account of those sanctions and I think there’s a strong argument here for those sanctions to go.

Now with respect to sanctions relating to individuals from Zanu PF and the old Zanu PF government; those sanctions were put in place on the basis of the conduct of those individuals and political party - and conduct which undermined democracy in Zimbabwe.

[Now how does he know that? Was he at the table when these sanctions were discussed? And them being aimed at individuals in Zimbabwe does not make them any more legal than when they are aimed at the 'the Government of Zimbabwe' (to quote ZDERA). - MrK]

And this is evidenced more so by the last election that we had in Zimbabwe, which was the June 2007 Presidential election, in which untold violence was unleashed on innocent people and opposition politicians. Those people responsible for such heinous crimes against the people of Zimbabwe do not deserve to be removed from the sanctions list unless they show that they have reformed. And we look at the policy makers responsible for the state and condition of democracy in Zimbabwe and ask what they have done to reform democratic institutions, to reform the conduct of arms of the State such as the police and informal apparatus such as the youth militia and the war veterans. If those people and their approach to the rule of law and the upholding of it, has not transformed significantly from previous times then they still have to demonstrate that they are embracing inclusivity, they are embracing democracy, they are embracing popular expression, they are embracing freedom - and so those people, unless they demonstrate that reform then they can be removed from the travel list.

We still have people who are yet to be punished for crimes that they unleashed on the people of Zimbabwe throughout all the elections and indeed throughout most of this decade since the emergence of opposition, vibrant opposition politics in Zimbabwe and unless they can convince Zimbabweans that they have changed, that they are no longer a danger, a threat, a risk to the people, then I have no reason to argue why they should be removed from the sanctions list. Thank you.

My name is IBBO MANDAZA. I’m Zimbabwean academic, author and publisher. The debate on sanctions: I’m puzzled really as to why the debate has come as it has. Firstly one would like to know what sanctions have been imposed, against whom and why those persons have been singled out? Secondly what has changed in terms of the reasons for which the sanctions were imposed? Thirdly what has been the import of those sanctions?

[A USD $340 million drop in the balance of trade the year they came into force. They lead the government to operate on a cash only basis, which lead to hyperinflation. Those are the effects of sanctions. - MrK]

Has there been side effects (inaudible)...? And lastly I’m not sure that sanctions, as they are called, have been the major factor in terms of the economic decline in Zimbabwe.

[That's because you just said you don't know what they are, what is covered by them, and what their effects have been. They lead to hyperinflation. Ponder that. - MrK]

I would like to think that there are bigger issues than sanctions. You have to look at the totality of factors that have been impinged upon Zimbabwe or underpinned the economic decline and the political malaise that we know today. I’m not sure that sanctions really matter in my view. I think they are quite peripheral in Zimbabwe. Thank you.

My name is OKAY MACHISA and I’m a board member of Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum as well as the national director for Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZIMRIGHTS).

[ZIMRIGHTS is funded by the US National Endowment for Democracy. Nice to know that the US has a seat at the table when it comes to determining the national debate in Zimbabwe, even if they do so under the cover of Zimbabwean nationals. But then the VOA is practically CIA, so there. - MrK]

Let me start by saying I understand sanctions as a word that has been used to inflict pain to the people of Zimbabwe by Zanu PF.

[Sanctions are 'a word' that has been used to inflict pain on the Zimbabwean people by ZANU-PF? Slow down, you're 'spinning' so fast I can't follow you. - MrK]

And I understand restrictive measures given to the international community to targeted members of Zanu PF who have been seen to be perpetuating human rights abuses to the masses of the people of Zimbabwe.

[Then you misunderstand and 'apparently' have never heard of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001. - MrK]

So I would actually use targeted sanctions or restrictive measures as those punitive measures that were given to targeted members of Zanu PF. And I will use sanctions as a word that has been used to make people of Zimbabwe suffer by Zanu PF. So actually sanctions have been given to Zimbabwean people and restrictive measures have been given to targeted members of Zanu PF.

[Look at wat you did. You got your blood all over my shoes. - MrK]

So in other words, we call upon Zanu PF to remove sanctions that they have imposed to the people of Zimbabwe and we have no jurisdiction to call upon the international community to remove targeted sanctions because we feel we are put in a corner by Zanu PF. And I feel that these targeted or restrictive measures that have been given to a few individuals of Zanu PF should maintain to be there and we have no apologies on that because we are suffering in the hands of the Zanu PF party.

[So there are no sanctions, but if there are, they are just a word used by ZANU-PF to hurt the people of Zimbabwe, so the ZANU-PF should take responsiblity for having the sanctions that don't exist removed. Huh? Honestly. ZIMRIGHTS is just trying to sing for their backers supper. - MrK]

In the communities we are beaten, in the communities we receive torture, in the communities our women are raped, because of a certain party that would want to cling onto power and therefore equal to this, we would really call upon for those targeted measures to remain until we have peace and tranquillity in Zimbabwe. I thank you.

My name is ALEX MAGAISA I work at the University of Kent in the UK and I regularly write on Zimbabwean issues. I’ve been asked to comment on sanctions in Zimbabwe and my view on sanctions is basically that you have to first of all consider the purpose of the sanctions, which to my understanding has been the issues of human rights violations and governance issues in Zimbabwe, at least that is the view given by those who imposed the sanctions against the individuals and the companies that have been targeted. But you also have to move on and ask about the effectiveness of the sanctions themselves in Zimbabwe. Now this is a question that has never been properly answered either by those who have imposed the sanctions or indeed by those who are supporting the sanctions. It is an issue that I think is important to get a review of what real impact the sanctions have had in Zimbabwe because if the sanctions have not been effective in order to facilitate or to fulfil the purpose for which they were put it may be that they are becoming an unnecessary distraction from the real issues that need to be looked into.

But also you have to consider the fact that Zimbabwe is a country that has changed somewhat from the time that the sanctions were imposed in 2002 or thereabouts - and now that there is the inclusive government, obviously one of the things that needs to be done is to carry out a review and consider whether there is any window of opportunity at this time to get things moving without the destruction of sanctions being blamed for one thing or another when there are more fundamental issues that need to be looked into.

And the other issue that I think is quite important is that for some people, sanctions have been seen as a point of leverage for the erstwhile opposition, I say the erstwhile opposition because the MDC is no longer in opposition as things stand, they are part of the government. And therefore, in the context of the negotiations it has also been said that it is a point of leverage for the MDC in their discussions with their Zanu PF counterparts. But again you have to review this position and ask whether this remains a point of leverage at all or whether it has actually become a burden for the MDC

[That's right - being properly accredited for the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy after a credit freeze of the government has become a burdon on the MDC's electability. Talk about priorities. - MrK]

in its attempts to try and negotiate a way forward with their colleagues in government and it looks to me, especially given what has transpired in the past two weeks following the comments made by the British Foreign Secretary Mr David Miliband, which seem to suggest the MDC has somewhat, some power to influence the removal of sanctions - which in a way has given credence or perhaps validity in some ways to the Zanu PF claim that the MDC is responsible for the imposition of the sanctions and have the power to have the sanctions removed. Whereas the MDC has been saying it doesn’t have that power and indeed still insist that it doesn’t have that power.

What you now have is a discussion on this collateral issue, the issue of sanctions perhaps you could say an issue that is not necessarily at the heart of what needs to be done and as things stand the relationship between the parties and between the individuals seems to be fundamentally disturbed and people are focussing on an issue, that if you go back to the first point I made about the effectiveness of the sanctions, you then have to ask whether this is something that perhaps needs to be put on the side and people can focus on those issues that really matter.

I think one thing must be made of course, that those who imposed the sanctions have the power to remove them but they also have the power to re-impose the sanctions if they believe that the behaviour is not consistent as far as the purpose of those sanctions is concerned. So to say that sanctions should be removed or suspended whichever word you’d like to use does not connote finality all it means is that there is a recognition that there is a process underway and perhaps you give it a chance and if it doesn’t work those who have the power to impose sanctions can always do so at their will. So for me I think it is important that Zimbabweans do start to concentrate on the governance issues, issues of constitutional reform and various other aspects. If you remove this monkey on the back I think perhaps there will be no hiding place, nobody is going to hide behind this issue of sanctions to block what are necessary reforms in the country.

I’m TONY HAWKINS, Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Management, University of Zimbabwe. I think that the sanctions should be maintained.

[That's right Tony, let Zimbabwe 'crash and burn' so you can 'pick up the pieces'. From this paper by Tony Hawkins, who also writes for the Financial Times - check out how agricultural output grew strongly until the year ZDERA was introduced in 2002. MrK]

I personally believe that this country is not going to emerge fully from its crisis without fresh elections and a change of government. I’m not a supporter of the Government of National Unity, which I think has, as I always predicted, been proven to be a failure because one party or perhaps two parties are unprepared to participate fully. So I think the sooner we get new elections the better and then sanctions will fall away.

[Of course they will, because regime change will have been successful. That is the purpose of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe - make the lives of Zimbabwean citizens to miserable that they will vote against their own future interest and bring the MDC to power. - MrK]

As for the impact of sanctions I think they are minimal and I think that their continued existence really plays into the hands of some people in Zanu PF, which sounds a bit of a contradiction from what I was saying earlier, but on the other hand I would argue that in fact any relaxation of sanctions would convince Zanu PF that they are winning and make them even more intransigent than they are already.

I think one should accept that economic recovery and development in this country depends on the full acceptance of the need for a modern democratic society and that means that the measures, the sanctions that have been imposed are a reflection of what is missing. In other words we need a return to conditions that will attract investment, that will foster confidence and so on. The mere existence of sanctions is a reminder that we are deficient in this area and that the deficiency has nothing to do with the rights and wrongs of sanctions but have a lot to do with the failure of the previous government and one of the partners in the existing government to behave according to the norms of modern civilised democratic society.

The name is WELLINGTON CHIBHEBHE, Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. Our position on the so-called sanctions has always been very clear in the sense that from our reading, the so-called sanctions were targeted measures.

[Not according to the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001. I quote:

(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- ... the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--

(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or

(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.


Now which banks are affected by these sanctions:



In this Act:

(1) INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS- The term `international financial institutions' means the

multilateral development banks and the
International Monetary Fund.

(2) MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS- The term `multilateral development banks' means the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the
International Development Association, the
International Finance Corporation, the
Inter-American Development Bank, the
Asian Development Bank, the
Inter-American Investment Corporation, the
African Development Bank, the
African Development Fund, the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the
Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency.


Now everyone knows, and they no longer have to 'feel' that there are or are not economic sanctions in place against Zimbabwe, or talk about 'so-called sanctions'. Unless of course they are lying, and know fully well that there are economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, what their effects are, and what their intent is - regime change, not human rights. - MrK

Targeted at specific individuals and specific companies and/or organisations which had something to do with the violation of human rights in Zimbabwe.

[Actually they have to do with the redistribution of 137,000 hectares of land of the Oppenheimer family. They are afraid that they will have to share South Africa's gold too. That is why nothing short of regime change will do for them. - MrK]

Unfortunately for Zimbabweans and fortunately for Zanu PF the issue of the targeted measures has now been reduced to the so-called sanctions in the GPA and Zanu PF is cleverly taking advantage of that drafting of the word sanctions, to now clamour for the removal of the so-called sanctions. But believe you me, the issue of the so-called sanctions is a non-issue because it is linked from our own perspective, it is linked to the violation of human rights and peoples’ freedom and from where we have observed the situation on the ground, nothing has changed so far.

So, if the so-called sanctions or targeted measures were linked to the violation of human rights and peoples’ freedom we don’t view the hullabaloo that is going on and the noise that is coming from Zanu PF as anything to take note of, it’s much ado about nothing. And therefore we view that they are trying to come up with an aside, an agenda created on the sidelines. Even if you go into the GPA, it is clear that the parties will campaign internationally for the removal of the targeted measures but unfortunately you will find that Zanu PF would want MDC as a party, not as a partner in the GPA, to go internationally campaigning for the removal of the so-called sanctions. It is nothing but a way of trying to buy time and a way of trying to blackmail the MDC by Zanu PF - to use the sanctions issue as a way of refusing to yield to the issues which are in the GPA, which is quite unfortunate and we find that as treachery.

GONDA: So as the labour movement, do you think the targeted measures should be removed?

CHIBHEBHE: Well we have said it loud and clear that it’s a non-event. We don’t know how it’s being talked about and why it’s being talked about. What should be addressed first and foremost is the violation of the human rights and the lack of peoples’ freedoms, that should be addressed first and foremost for us to see that there is change on the ground - because we are given to believe that these so-called sanctions were linked to the violations so non removal of violations will automatically mean that the targeted measures will remain.

Hallo, my name is JENNI WILLIAMS, the National Co-ordinator of Women of Zimbabwe Arise.

To quote Stephen Gowans on WOZA:

Woza supports two US State Department propaganda vehicles: SW Radio Africa, a US State Department funded short-wave radio station that beams anti-Mugabe propaganda into Zimbabwe, and the Voice of America’s Studio 7, also funded by the State Department to broadcast US foreign policy positions into Zimbabwe. All political parties in Zimbabwe have, in their recent Memorandum of Understanding, urged journalists to abandon these pirate radio stations to “start working for the good of the country rather than for its enemies.” Jenni Williams and Woza are not, as Zunes falsely claims, working independently of the US government.

We are a pressure group putting pressure on Robert Mugabe and his regime and this power sharing deal to create more respect for civil liberties on the ground in Zimbabwe. We want them to implement the power sharing deal and until they implement that deal we feel international sanctions should remain in place as leverage for them to stop putting their sanctions on us in the country. That is why, as WOZA we are continuing to fight for respect for our human rights. We want to be able to demonstrate on the streets peacefully without someone, a police officer coming, sanctioning us with his baton stick, sanctioning us by putting us in jail and that is why we feel that international leverage helps, to pressure Robert Mugabe to remove sanctions on us or else!

This is BISHOP TREVOR MANHANGA, I am the presiding bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe. Regarding the matter of sanctions, I think that they should be unreservedly and immediately lifted for the benefit of people of Zimbabwe. I think the people of Zimbabwe need to be rewarded for everything they have achieved. We have managed to bring a polarised political situation to a situation where the protagonists are now sitting together, working together for the benefit of this nation. Sanctions serve no further purpose and anyone who advocates for the continued imposition of sanctions is against the people of Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe must not be punished any further - they must be rewarded. We must also see from the west a removal of the double standards, which we are seeing. Why is it that there are no sanctions being imposed on Afghanistan, Pakistan – other countries that have had problems, worse problems than Zimbabwe? Is it because Zimbabweans have managed to do something by themselves with a little bit of assistance from their African brothers in the SADC and the AU that the western world wants to continue with these sanctions?

They are now totally unjustified and the continuance of the sanctions on Zimbabwe lends credence to the idea that what is really at stake, it’s not really the new political dispensation but a punishment on the people of Zimbabwe for the land reform programme and until that is reversed, sanctions will not be lifted - because all the political indicators that people advocating for in the past are evident now. People that were fighting each other are working together and there is therefore now no more further need for sanctions to be on this country. This country needs to take off and it cannot do that while these sanctions are continuing and affecting the development of the nation.

My name is GERTRUDE HAMBIRA, I represent the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe, a union which represents farm workers. I just want to give a short comment about the issue of sanctions. From the grassroots point of view we are not aware of the so-called sanctions that are hurting the people of Zimbabwe.

[Ever noticed that anything happened to the Zimbawean dollar? Or don't your members get paid in cash? - MrK]

But from our own observations - we are farm labourers who have lost jobs through the land reform programme. So I don’t know if it is the land reform programme which has created these sanctions or not but we have lost our entire livelihood due to the current land reform programme which has resulted in the loss of our jobs, our children being put out of school. So I can’t talk more about sanctions because I’m not aware of these sanctions but what I have heard is that they are so-called targeted sanctions, I don’t know what that means.

Right now we are currently battling with the issues of trying to attend to displaced farm workers who have been affected by the current invasions which are taken place and also the wages for farm workers which still stand at $32 and no-one can be or is able to survive on $32. And I want to say that we are just watching the civil servants - what they are going to get while we are preparing ourselves for the negotiations for our members, which are going to take place on the 19th of February. So you will be informed of the outcome of these negotiations but if nothing fruitful comes out it means that the workers won’t be happy about it, they are bound to take a very harsh decision.

My name is GIFT PHIRI, I’m a journalist in Harare. Violet, this issue of restrictive measures I genuinely feel they should stay. We understand the Prime Minister has approached the international community at the World Economic Forum in DAVOS to lift the restrictive measures, but honestly I believe he is ill advised. The time has not yet come for the lifting of these measures because really there is nothing we have seen from Zanu PF, nothing that they’ve done to deserve this kind of thing. Sometimes you feel probably stricter measures should be imposed on the hierarchy to force this reform we want to see and to return the country the rule of law. We still see selective application of the law - these arbitrary arrests still happening, just yesterday we had ZINASU the whole executive of ZINASU rounded up for holding a meeting, we’ve got the constitutional meetings being disrupted, you’ve got farm invasions being intensified, you’ve got even Zanu PF arrogantly and contemptuously say they will not make any more concessions within GPA. Nobody wants them to make concessions, all we are asking is that they fully implement the Agreement, fully implement an Agreement they signed up to in September 2008. So really we feel this arrogance, contempt for the whole Global Political Agreement and really to reward them with the lifting of sanctions I think is ill advised at this point in time.

My name is JOHN MAKUMBE, I’m a Professor of Political Science at the University of Zimbabwe, and I’m in Harare. Sanctions should stay in place, sanctions should not be removed, there’s nothing that has changed in Zimbabwe except the fact that the MDC Tsvangirai and MDC Mutambara are now part of what is called the inclusive government. The power sharing itself has not occurred, it has not taken place. Robert Mugabe is reluctant to share any power with Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara and so the sanctions must stay in place. The governors, provincial governors who are supposed to be from MDC Tsvangirai, five of them and one from MDC Mutambara have not been sworn in, they are not in place. The diplomats who were trained, something like six diplomats from the MDC have not been deployed even though they completed their training and a lot of things in the Global Political Agreement have not been done and until they are done the sanctions must stay in place, they must not be lifted at all and even lifting them bit by bit as Morgan Tsvangirai is suggesting is not really wise, it will be very dangerous.

I’m not contradicting myself from my previous appearance on SW Radio Africa, I am actually reinforcing what I said then - which is that I was still optimistic, in other words the sanctions must stay in place in order to make Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe do the right thing. They have to behave themselves.

My name is JOB SIKHALA: I’m leading a formation of the MDC that has dumped Arthur Mutambara after realising that he has been supporting Zanu PF through and through.

In 2001, Job Sikhala was the subject of a voilent attack by a FELLOW MDC member, Zengeza East MP Alexio Musundire. To quote Morgan Tsvangirai's response at the time:

"When children are playing, it is natural for them to sometimes fight, but you do not make a big issue out of it. You must expect children to fight. If you don’t expect them to do so, then you are not human."

My view is that and I’ve always been saying it for a long time that there is nothing called sanctions in Zimbabwe because Mugabe has imposed sanctions upon the people of Zimbabwe.

[Mugabe created ZDERA which doesn't exist and then imposed those non-existant sanctions against Zimbabwe? - MrK]

Secondly, that the people of Zimbabwe have been under attack from Mugabe’s dictatorship since 1999

[Not since 1980? Just since the formation of the MDC. Hmmm... - MrK]

up to present and that the people of Zimbabwe have been under his personal sanctions and that the people of Zimbabwe are suffering more from Mugabe than the economic sanctions that are currently in place. If those kind of things called sanctions are in existence they must be there until Mugabe is collapsed.

[Even if it destroys the Zimbabwean economy? - MrK]

And as long as Mugabe’s alive, those sanctions must continue to be in place because we cannot accept a situation whereby a dictatorship continues to heap sanctions upon his own innocent population and we hope that the international community would kick him into the world of civilised nations. That is basically our view and our position as an organisation, as a party.

We are not interested at all to hear Zanu PF claiming that everything that has caused problems in this country is through the issue of sanctions. Sanctions exist because Mugabe has also imposed sanctions upon the people of Zimbabwe. And we are civilians who do not have the machinery, which Mugabe has and basically the only machinery that we have is the sanctions, which the international community are putting on the dictatorship. That is our position and we are going to stand tall, left, right and centre, everywhere - we are prepared to defend this position.

ELINOR SISULU, writer and human rights activist based in South Africa, I am a Zimbabwean South African. I think that first of all there are no sanctions, there are targeted restrictive measures on certain individuals, those individuals within Zanu PF are still being an obstacle to democracy and I think that if sanctions are removed it would be a very dangerous thing for the ordinary people of Zimbabwe because there would be no pressure on the Zanu PF regime and they can just overturn the GPA overnight. There’s no guarantee that if sanctions are removed they are going to fulfil the other requirements of the GPA. So certainly the targeted restrictions should remain but maybe the restrictions on the economy as a whole should be removed.

There’s been a lot of mystification about sanctions, there’s no way that targeted restrictions on individuals, which prevent individuals from remitting their money abroad or accessing the stolen money from bank accounts in the west. There’s no way that those kind of restrictions could have affected the economy.

[Oh boy. - MrK]

The other issue was the bar on Zimbabwe’s borrowing which was to do with Zimbabwe not fulfilling its requirements to the IMF. Those can easily be addressed and also the kind of prevention of Zimbabweans having access to credit lines I think that is the main issue that one might argue that has affected the economy. But even then there’s no convincing argument on the whole to say that Zimbabwe is in the state that it is because of sanctions.

Hi I’m ALAN DOYLE. The idea that sanctions should be removed to reward the government of national unity is very, very premature.

[Who is Alan Doyle? The editor of the anti-Mugabe and
- MrK]

Even if ZANU had fulfilled its obligations under the Global Political Agreement it could then reverse anything it had done once sanctions had been safely removed in the clear knowledge that they would be unlikely to be replaced again and of course they haven’t fulfilled their obligations. There are a number of outstanding issues, the ministers, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, the Attorney General and just recently in the last couple of days the withdrawal of the Prime Minister’s duties in terms of having Ministers report to him, so there are a number of outstanding items and it’s very, very premature to talk about removing sanctions. It’s surprising really that people have been putting forward this argument haven’t, are having such difficulty learning from history. The last ten years at least have shown that there’s no quid pro quo with Zanu PF, no give and take, there’s only take. And I think that regardless what Tendai Biti or the MDC or the AU or SADC asks, these measures, particularly the measures against individuals have got to be kept in place until any political improvements on the ground are irreversible. Thank you very much.

Feedback can be sent to violet ***

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At 5:17 PM , Blogger MrK said...


Contacts: Jared Young 202-224-5762
Kathryn Junk 202-224-1282
August 5, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2010. This new legislation will lift U.S. economic sanctions originally imposed on the African nation of Zimbabwe in 2001, and restore the country’s economy and aide in the nation’s transition to democracy.


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