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SADC in solidarity with Zimbabwe

21.10.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
As SADC joins Zimbabwe in petitioning the EU, United States, Canada and Australia to lift economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, there remains a few fundamental questions to be answered. Are the sanctions against the Southern African nation justified or unjustified? Under what circumstances were they imposed? What is the objective of the economic sanctions? Are the sanctions achieving their intended object? Let us dig deeper into the background behind sanctions.

Sanctions against Zimbabwe were imposed following the human rights abuse that characterised the land distribution process.  These targeted to high profile politicians in Zimbabwe government under President Mugabe for perpetrating the Human rights violation. But there is another story behind the story. The land reform was a response to the inequalities that resulted from brutal land seizures by the white settlers during colonial era. When the colonialist seized land from the native ancestors of modern day Zimbabwe, no sanctions were imposed, EU, United Nations and the United States were silent. But after the nation undertook the noble gesture of land redistribution, sanctions were swiftly imposed. Why? To prove that Whites are superior than Blacks? The idea of land redistribution was noble but the method used was out of line.

The so called targeted sanctions are felt far and wide by ordinary citizens. Now that they have seen its the ordinary citizens who are suffering, and the powers that be are not reforming, what purpose are the sanctions still serving? More than half of Zimbabwe’s population is below 40 years. Most of the people in this age group are apolitical and did not in any way play a part in masterminding the human rights abuse that resulted in the imposition of sanctions. So why make them suffer for the trespass of only a handful politicians who themselves are immune to the effects of the sanctions? There are many innocent lives whose hope and prospect of a bright future is fading away day by day as the unforgiving sanctions take their toll upon the country’s economy.

Europe, United States, Canada and Australia should evaluate if the sanctions imposed upon Zimbabwe are serving their purpose. It has been close to two decades, politicians are seen buying vehicle after vehicle, enjoying holiday after holiday and making investments in those stable economies while they implement policies doing nothing less than assassinating the already fragile economy. When all this is happening, it’s the ordinary man and woman of Zimbabwe that suffers.

With the economy plunging into hyperinflation, companies close shop as they fail to achieve the superordinate goal of profit making. The closing of companies only means one tough reality: people will lose their jobs which in many instances is their only source of income. The result is a drastic drop in their living standard. The ripple and spill over effects of the poverty cycle goes on, it invites many terrible woes among them social unrest, spike in crime, prostitution, increased school dropouts as parents fail to pay fees, increased divorce rate as marriages fail, shoddy public service from parastatals and state enterprises.

The health sector is not spared from the effects of sanctions. Critical medical equipment and drugs cannot be imported easily due to trading restrictions brought by sanctions. The result is needless loss of life that could be avoided if the clinics and hospitals were medically equipped. It’s a no brainer that the perpetrators of human rights abuses that brought the sanctions will not suffer. Why? Because they get medical attention from top brass private hospitals locally or abroad in China, Singapore and Malaysia using the suffering tax payers’ money.

Sanctions have an effect of constricting the country’s source of funding. The IMF and World Bank are not willing to advance lines of funding to Zimbabwe because of various reasons among them sanctions. This stifles economic growth and further dampen the country’s hope of getting out of economic doldrums. Industry will only respond by shrinking because it is capital that drives growth. The subsequent effects keep gravitating towards a cataclysmic economic quagmire that affect ordinary citizens the worst but surprisingly America and the EU are not willing to unclench the unrelenting ruthless grip of economic sanctions upon the poor Southern African nation.

May are left to wondering on how the world operate. What other measures can the so called super powers use to ensure human rights are respected. For them to impose sanctions, who enshrined them with those veto powers. Has America ever received sanctions from elsewhere, does that they are saints when it comes to upholding human rights?

With the ordinary Zimbabwean citizens wallowing in abject poverty as the economy succumbs to the debilitating jaws of the ruthless economic sanctions while the politicians are sumptuously enjoying life ignorant of the harsh realities the majority is facing. With public health institutions becoming death traps killing the poor masses of Zimbabwe who cannot afford private hospital bills while politicians are getting premium health care overseas. As the public water system deteriorates resulting in unabated spike in hygiene related diseases like cholera and typhoid which affect mainly the poor masses. As fuel prices increase to unprecedented levels, the greatest sufferer is the ordinary Zimbabwean, while the politicians drive top of the range Porsche cars using taxes fleeced from the poor people. It therefore must be categorically stated that the sanctions imposed upon Zimbabwe are unjustified as the ordinary citizens are the worst affected. As all this is happening, the life of politicians continues to be one of unlimited joy while ordinary citizens receive blow after blow from the debilitating effects of a nosediving economy.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

Photo Credit : google image/illustration

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