The calls to end sanctions against Zimbabwe are slowly growing archaic. It’s almost two decades since sanctions were imposed by the West in the early 2000s.
Economic decline and lack of development in most sectors of the economy has largely been blamed on the sanction by both the Robert Mugabe government and the current administration.
In a point of events, soon after he assumed the presidency, the current President, Emmerson Mnangagwa tried to divert from the previous banter and highlighted that Zimbabwe must not blame sanctions, a position he backtracked on later on in his reign.
Recently, the SADC bloc fortified the calls to end sanctions on Zimbabwe by declaring the 25th of October as a solidarity date where the region stands in solidarity with Zimbabwe to advocate for the removal of sanctions.
During the last post-cabinet briefing, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this year’s anti-sanctions day will run under the theme “Friend to All, Enemy to none: Forging Ahead and Enhancing Innovation and Productivity in Adversity of Sanctions”, to reflect on the country’s efforts to re-engage with the international community.
During the recently held United Nations General Assembly, SADC heads of states including Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa) and Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana) all made a clarion call for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe if it was to adequately respond to the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
To show the UN the impacts that sanctions have had on the Zimbabwean economy, the Mnangagwa led government has approved a visit by the UN Special rapporteur on sanctions to visit the country and have a first-hand assessment of the issues on the ground.
Some of the reasons why the southern African nation is under sanctions is alleged human rights violations, corruption, political repression, undemocratic practices and the lack of substantial reforms to improve the humanitarian, economic and social situation.
However, the Zimbabwean government has been dilly-dallying around the impacts of sanctions on the economy. At one point the President will be saying sanctions cannot hold us back or that the West has no moral compass to inflict sanctions. The next point he is making a call for the unconditional removal of sanctions because of their devastating effects.
The Zimbabwean government is well aware that the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe came with conditions to be met.
The authorities know the right actions, the right socio-eco-political reforms that need to be implemented for the removal of sanctions.
Even though the support from diplomatic friends is crucial in the call against sanctions, the Zimbabwean government must play their part in chartering a way forward to foster beneficial relations with Western countries and institutions that enacted the sanctions.