Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Lift sanctions on Zimbabwe, says AU

by Staff reporter
30 May 2022 at 06:57hrs | Views
African Union chairperson and Senegalese President Macky Sall has added his voice in calling for the lifting of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western capitals more than 20 years ago, saying the embargo was worsening the economic and humanitarian situation in the country.

Speaking last Friday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, where he was attending two AU Extraordinary Summits, which drew several participants from across the continent, including Zimbabwe, President Sall endorsed the regional and continental solidarity with Zimbabwe over sanctions.

The two summits, aimed at consolidating continental solidarity, were the extraordinary humanitarian summit and pledging conference and the summit on terrorism and unconstitutional changes of government in Africa.

Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri led a delegation from Zimbabwe on behalf of President Mnangagwa, who was attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In his address, President Sall reiterated the AU's call for the lifting of Western sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe for more than 20 years.

"Bearing in mind the repeated request of the African Union, I solemnly call for the lifting of the foreign sanctions that have been imposed for years on our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe.

"In these times of deep crisis, these sanctions further worsen the living conditions of the Zimbabwean people," said President Sall.

A United Nations special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Professor Alena Douhan, found late last year that Western sanctions had exacerbated Zimbabwe's economic and humanitarian crisis.

Several other organisations and countries including Comesa, African, Caribbean and Pacific countries have denounced the embargo which was imposed after correcting historical land imbalances.

SADC has since earmarked October 25 of every year as the Anti-Sanctions Solidarity Day where several activities would be lined up in the region.

Addressing the summit on behalf of President Mnangagwa, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri highlighted the complex humanitarian factors affecting the continent that include cyclones which have ravaged several countries such as Zimbabwe, claiming lives and leaving a trail of infrastructure  damage.

To adequately respond to the natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Zimbabwe welcomed the call for increased investments in early warning mechanisms at national, regional and continental levels.

"In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, Zimbabwe aligns itself to the call for strengthening the continent's public health systems to enable them to handle public health emergencies now and in the future, without compromising provision of services to manage other health  programmes.

"On a related matter, it is also critically important to invest more resources to strengthen our research institutions and the pharmaceutical industry.

"Zimbabwe further welcomes the manufacturing of vaccines within the continent and hopes that more of the vaccines will be sourced from the continent at competitive prices," she said.

On food security and nutrition, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Zimbabwe welcomed the declaration's proposal to identify preventive and adaptive approaches that enable communities to adopt climate-resilient and sustainable agriculture, new technologies and innovation.

"In that regard, Zimbabwe highlighted programmes it had introduced aimed at capacitating vulnerable small-holder farmers, especially women,"   she said.

The purpose of the summit was to find durable solutions to the deteriorating humanitarian situation on the   continent.

Development partners, civil society organisations, representatives of regional economic communities and mechanisms, community representatives, the private sector and other stakeholders, including the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr Martin Griffiths.

Source - The Herald