Opinion / Columnist
A call for the immediate removal of all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe
26 Apr 2019 at 18:33hrs | Views
A lot of people, some of them close family members and even respected business friends and colleagues, have openly wondered whether or not I have changed my brand of politics. In certain hostile political circles, I have actually been branded a political turncoat, a sell-out, a Zanu PF agent and all sorts of false, malicious, unjustified and terribly ill-informed accusations. Well, the fact of the matter is that my brand of politics hasn't and in fact, will never change.
I'm the sort of person who doesn't shy away from speaking truth to power, always, every time and indeed, anywhere and everywhere. That's me! I'm a prisoner of my conscience and my politics is deeply influenced by my principles and convictions. As Malcolm X once said: "It's better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction." Ever since I got myself involved in active politics many, many years ago, I have resolutely stood by what I believe in and in a nutshell this is : peace, love, solidarity, non-violence, integrity, honesty, empathy, the rule of law and constitutionalism. To those amongst the readers who happen to know me closely enough, I am pretty sure you will agree with me that I have passionately stood by the afore-mentioned guiding principles in my political career. Basically, therefore, I don't believe in opportunism or rather, sacrificing my strongly-held principles for short-term personal gain.
I'm a very proud citizen of Zimbabwe, a proud citizen of Africa and above everything else, a proud citizen of the world. Where the overall interests of Zimbabwe supersede and overtake my own private and personal interests, I don't hesitate to sacrifice my personal interests for the common good of my beloved country and continent. This is the major reason that informed how I reached my Damascus moment regarding the issue of sanctions against Zimbabwe. Here and now, I will fully admit that at one time I was thoroughly misguided in actively supporting and actually calling for the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe. At that juncture, I rather stupidly and naively believed that the imposition of sanctions would naturally lead to the full and total democratisation of Zimbabwe. I was wrong; totally wrong. The reality is that sanctions actually cause more harm, political suffering and socio-economic agony to the majority of innocent Zimbabweans , most of whom are not even political activists. Sanctions don't hurt the ruling elite inasmuch as they hurt the ordinary man and woman in the street and in the village or township. After undertaking a thorough and deep study and introspection on the effects of sanctions on the generality of the people of Zimbabwe, I then reached my Damascus moment and began to appreciate how evil, toxic and retrogressive sanctions are against the welfare of the majority of my Zimbabwean compatriots. Thus, I'm unashamedly and passionately calling for the lifting of all forms of sanctions that were imposed against Zimbabwe by the major Western powers such as the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
Some social media terrorists have gone on a concerted campaign to denigrate and malign my political image by painting me as someone who has sold his soul to the ruling Zanu PF political party. They are completely and totally wrong. I have always been a Zimbabwean patriot to the bare bones and as such, I have never, ever shied away from articulating and defending what is in the best interests of my beloved country, Zimbabwe. Some of my political adversaries have even gone further to falsely allege that I have been bought over by Zanu PF and that I have been paid millions of dollars to "betray the struggle" whatever that means. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. I haven't received a single penny from Zanu PF or from anyone for that matter in order to become their propagandist and to betray and abandon my deeply-held political beliefs, convictions and principles. In my scheme of things, Zimbabwe always comes first. If that strong conviction qualifies me to be called a sell-out and a political turncoat, then so be it. I'm the least bothered by these false, unfounded, malicious and defamatory allegations against me. I will continue to tell, articulate and defend the Zimbabwean story without fear and/or favour. I don't need to be paid in order for me to be a patriot. I don't need to be paid to speak out and tell the world what I believe in. Put simply and succinctly, I don't need to be paid by anyone in order to advocate for the socio-economic advancement of Zimbabwe by calling for the immediate removal of all forms of sanctions against my homeland.
Obert Gutu is a Zimbabwean lawyer. He is the MDC-T Vice-President and he is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Negona Legal Consultancy & Public Governance Institute LLC.
Source - Obert Gutu
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