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Sanctions have cost Zimbabwe US$150 billion

by Staff reporter
26 Oct 2023 at 06:31hrs | Views
In the past 22 years, Zimbabwe has incurred a loss of over US$150 billion in potential revenue, opportunities, donor support, and loans due to the illegal sanctions imposed by the United States of America and the European Union. However, the Second Republic, under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, has successfully mitigated the adverse effects of these punitive measures through a series of transformative initiatives, according to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

VP Chiwenga stated these economic initiatives, which include engagement, re-engagement, and inward-looking policies, have led to significant progress. Over the past five years, Zimbabwe's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased from US$20 billion to $40 billion.

The Vice President made these remarks during an address in Harare, where he addressed a large gathering mainly comprised of civil servants to commemorate Anti-Sanctions Day. This day was established by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to express the region's dissatisfaction with the illegal sanctions imposed by Western countries, led by the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States of America, through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA).

He highlighted that these sanctions encompass financial restrictions and economic measures that have isolated Zimbabwe from global supply chains, the global financial system, and have limited capital inflows, mainly from Western sources. VP Chiwenga elaborated that, since 2001, Zimbabwe has lost over $150 billion due to frozen assets, trade embargoes, export and investment restrictions, reduced bilateral donor support, and development loans. These sanctions have led to a significant contraction of the country's GDP.

VP Chiwenga also pointed out that the United Nations has recognized the negative impact of these illegal sanctions on fundamental human rights in Zimbabwe. The United Nations Special Rapporteur, Alena Douhan, found that these sanctions have negatively affected access to health, food, clean water, sanitation, education, and employment.

The Vice President argued that these sanctions have also hindered the functioning of public institutions, service delivery, and essential infrastructure, thereby undermining the right to development for the people of Zimbabwe and impeding the achievement of sustainable development goals. He stressed that these sanctions are illegal, unfair, and a violation of Zimbabwe's sovereignty and right to self-determination.

Regarding the reasons provided by the USA and its allies for imposing sanctions, VP Chiwenga described them as lacking merit. He questioned the claims that the UK imposed sanctions to discourage the abuse of Zimbabweans and promote the rule of law and good governance, while the USA imposed and maintains sanctions to facilitate a transition to democracy and economic recovery.

The Vice President emphasized Zimbabwe's sovereign right to elect its own leaders and govern itself without external interference. He asserted that Zimbabwe does not seek to interfere in the politics and electoral processes of other countries, despite having a significant Zimbabwean population in the United Kingdom.

VP Chiwenga attributed these sanctions to the West's desire to punish Zimbabwe for reclaiming land from colonial landlords and redistributing it to the landless majority. He argued that this action should not be allowed to succeed, as it could serve as an example for other disempowered societies around the world.

Despite the challenges posed by sanctions, VP Chiwenga emphasized that Zimbabwe has learned to survive under the siege and is focusing on utilizing its available resources to foster economic growth. The nation is moving away from seeking external handouts and is determined to achieve development through its own resources.

He commended the support of the African Union, SADC, China, Russia, and other progressive nations that have stood by Zimbabwe in the fight against sanctions. He expressed gratitude to the countries, organizations, and individuals who have remained steadfast in supporting Zimbabwe on the sanctions issue.

The event in Harare was attended by various government ministers, including Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava, Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr. Jenfan Muswere, and Youth Empowerment Development and Vocational Training Minister Tino Machakaire. The commemoration began with a march from Munhumutapa Building and proceeded to Africa Unity Square, the main venue for the event.

Source - The Chronicle