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'EU sanctions will spur Zimbabweans to bust sanctions' - nonsense just what we need

19 Feb 2019 at 06:49hrs | Views
"Zimbabweans should not be distracted from their focus on turning around the economy by the country's enemies threatening to effect and strengthen illegal sanctions on the country," wrote the Chronicle.

"The recent resolution by the European Union (EU) Parliament for the block to effect and strengthen sanctions on Zimbabwe should instead spur Zimbabweans to work hard to bust the sanctions and turn around the economy."

I fell off the chair laughing!

Zimbabwe's economic situation is no laughing matter and I was not laughing at that. I was laughing at the idiotic and oxymoronic argument by the Chronicle. Surely the European Union is a sovereign entity and therefore has every right to decide who they will trade with and under what terms. All this talk of "illegal sanctions" therefore is just idiotic!

The argument that sanctions are the root cause of the country's economic demise is another Zanu PF propaganda that was discredited in 2016 when then President Robert Mugabe admitted that the country was being "swindled" of $15 billion in diamond revenue. After decades of the regime denying that corruption was rampant and the cancer killing the economy; he finally admitted it.

Mugabe never arrested even one diamond swindler. Mnangagwa is in his second year in power and he too has yet to arrest one swindler. We all know the same players are still operating in Marange and Chiadzwa, The wholesale looting is still going on and the Chronicle and all the other apologists know it.

How many nations in this world can sustain a $15 billion haemorrhage, much less thrive; particularly a nation like Zimbabwe with a mere $10 billion GDP!

Zimbabwe's economy has been in decline ever since the country gained her independence and Zanu PF took office in 1980. By the time the West imposed the sanctions in 2002, the country's economy was already on its knees. Zimbabwe adopted the first of two five-year Economic Structural Adjustment Programmes (ESAP) in 1990 in the hope of reviving the economy. Both programmes failed to revive the economy.

By the late 1990s the people of Zimbabwe themselves realised that Zanu PF's misrule was the cause of the economic decline and they started demanding meaningful political change including free, fair and credible elections as the only way the nation would get a competent government. Sadly, the nation has been disappointed because all their efforts to have free, fair and credible elections have so far come to nothing.

The best chances to implement the democratic reforms necessary for free and fair elections were during the 2008 to 2013 GNU when Zanu PF was forced by SADC to accept the need to implement the raft of reforms. The task of implementing the reforms fell on Morgana Tsvangirai and his MDC friends. They failed to get even one reform implemented in five years.

Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of the gravy train: generous salaries and allowances, limos, $4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, etc. With their snouts in the feeding trough, MDC leaders forgot about the reforms!

The key to Zimbabwe's economic recovery is good governance and that is only possible if the country has free, fair and credible elections. Today, with the country's economy in total meltdown; 75% of the population are living on US$30 or less a month which is less than 5% of the US$650 per month poverty datum line, etc.; the need for meaning democratic change and free and fair elections is more urgent now than ever!

When Mnangagwa seize power in the November 2017 military coup he promised to hold free, fair and credible elections. He failed to keep his promised and plunged the nation into this worsening economic crisis. Investors and lenders will not do business in a pariah state ruled by corrupt and lawless thugs.

The EU had a 240 strong election observer team and their final report made it clear the elections were rigged. "Major shortcomings in the pre-election environment impacted on the free expression of the will of electors, state resources were misused in favour of the incumbent and coverage by state media was heavily biased in favour of the ruling party," stated the team's report.

"Further, the electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability. Finally, the restrictions on political freedoms, the excessive use of force by security forces and abuses of human rights in the post-election period undermined the corresponding positive aspects during the pre-election campaign. As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards."

The EU is renewing sanctions against Zanu PF leaders for failing to hold free, fair and credible elections to acceptable international standards. This is exactly what every thinking Zimbabwean has been fighting for decades!

"EU sanctions should instead spur Zimbabweans to work hard to bust the sanctions and turn around the economy." There must be an oxymoron there somewhere! Why would Zimbabweans work hard to retain a dictatorship that has denied them their freedoms and human rights including the right to free elections, right to a fair share of the nation's wealth and even the right to life itself!

"Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said there was need to appreciate the complexity of the situation in Zimbabwe. South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has also called on the EU to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe saying the country has turned a wonderful corner and needs support on its path to great reforms," pleaded the Chronicle.

Another bout of laughter! I should read the Chronicle more often for a good laugh!

President Masisi please explain what is so complicated about Zimbabwe's situation that the country cannot produce something as basis and fundamental for free and fair elections as a verified voters' roll?

Mnangagwa was Mugabe's henchman and played a pivotal role in the establishment and retention of the Zanu PF dictatorship for 37 years. He staged a military coup to boot out Mugabe. Eight months after the coup, he blatantly rigged the July 2018 elections. After since he has used the state security machinery to beat, rape, arrest and even shoot to kill civilians; to cow the populous into subservient submission. He does not want the people to protest against yet another rigged elections and the worsening economic meltdown.

Mnangagwa has "turned a wonderful corner and needs support"! Yeah right!

The decades of economic chaos and political turmoil in Zimbabwe have not only affect the people of Zimbabwe but the whole Southern African region. It was SADC leaders who forced Zanu PF to agree to the implementation of the raft of democratic reforms at the onset of the 2008 GNU. SADC leaders were disappointed that not even one reform was implemented during the GNU and they even wanted the 2013 elections to be postponed to allow the reforms to be implemented.

Sadly, the crop of SADC leaders in 2013 and those now in power has changed; whilst the former appreciated the need for Zimbabwe to hold free and fair elections as the pre-requisite for good governance and economic recovery. The current leaders are a confused lot given to seeing complexities where none exist and some have even fallen for the old Zanu PF excuse of blaming sanctions of the country's economic decline!

Every thinking Zimbabwean will welcome the EU sanctions in response to Zanu PF's failure to hold free and fair elections.

Mnangagwa's use of the state security forces to silence all meaningful dissent must be seen for what it is - he is holding the gun to the nation just as he did to Mugabe in November 2017, during the Gukurahundi massacres  and countless other occasions. Indeed, ever since the country's independence in 1980, Zanu PF has always use brute force to impose its dictatorial authority on the nation.

Giving in to Mnangagwa's shotgun politics will not get us out of the political and economic hell-on-earth Zanu PF has landed us, last 38 years of appeasement has dragged us deeper and deeper into the hell-hole. Only by refusing to give in will the nation get out! Zanu PF thuggery should harden our resolve for free, fair and credible elections and not soften it. And the EU's support by renewing the sanction on the regime is exactly what the doctor ordered!

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