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Pan-African Parliament pushes for Zimbabwe sanctions removal

by Staff reporter
13 Apr 2021 at 18:21hrs | Views
THE Pan-African Parliament (PAP) will continue to lobby for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe by the United States and its western allies despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Harare has been under sanctions since 2000 when the late president Robert Mugabe's administration embarked on a chaotic and violent land reform programme.

The country's security forces have also been accused of gross human rights abuses on behalf of the ruling Zanu-PF.

Even after the ascendency to power of President Emmerson Mnangagwa following a well-supported military coup in 2017, the US, the European Union and the United Kingdom have maintained their stance on Harare.

PAP designated acting-president Chief Fortune Charumbira said that the Johannesburg-headquartered legislative arm of the African Union (AU) will ensure the full participation of the African continent to see that Zimbabwe's sanctions are dropped.

"As you are aware, if it wasn't for Covid-19, PAP in March last year invited the Zimbabwe minister of Foreign Affairs to South Africa, deputy minister David Musabayana came and did a presentation to the committee of co-operation, international relations and conflict resolutions at PAP.

"That is the committee responsible for lobbying against sanctions.

"The aim was to produce this matter in May 2020, debate it and make resolutions which PAP would take to the AU heads of state and those imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe.

"Unfortunately, because of Covid-19 we didn't have a May session nor an October session.

"This year we have the May session; this issue is alive and being pushed by PAP," Charumbira, who is also the president of the Zimbabwe Chiefs Council, told the Daily News.

PAP is credited with the successful lobbying of the removal of sanctions against Sudan by the US in December last year.

Charumbira, a fourth vice president of the African Parliament representing the southern African region, assumed the responsibilities of the office of the president until the next plenary session next month when a full bureau is set to be reconstituted.

"We started well. I only came back last week. I had a whole 10 days in Joburg at the office designing programmes, holding meetings with staff and a number of ambassadors based in South Africa. A number of countries of course would want to interact with the PAP.

"This is at a very high level international relations including even the issue of sanctions. When you play at that level you now have access to key international decision makers.  

"It is also a very significant foreign affairs role which should bring economic, political and social benefits to the country," Charumbira added.

Source - dailynews

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