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Opinion / Columnist

Of illegal sanctions and global politics

19 Sep 2019 at 13:41hrs | Views
Sanctions generally entail restrictions on international trade and finance that one country imposes on another for political reasons.

Economic sanctions include the withdrawal of customary trade and financial relations for foreign and security policy purposes. However, critics say sanctions are often ill-conceived and rarely successful in changing a target country's conduct.

Sanctions may be comprehensive when they prohibit commercial activity with regard to an entire country, or they may be targeted through blocking transactions with particular businesses, groups or individuals.

After the Government introduced the Land Reform Program in 2000, the United States of America (US) and its cronies chose to impose economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. It is a fact that those punitive measures imposed on the country have an adverse burden on the economy as a whole. Truth be told, these sanctions have worked to worsen the socio-economic environment in the country affecting every Zimbabwean despite claims by their architects that they are targeted. It was so unfortunate that the land issue was politicised, and as such Zimbabwe was struck by the illegal sanctions.

All this while, Zimbabwe has been fighting a lone battle, it's heartening to note that the whole of Africa is now alive to the need for the removal of sanctions on our beloved country. As a way of standing in solidarity with Zimbabwe in calling for the lifting of sanctions, the new SADC chairperson, President of Tanzania, Dr John Magufuli called on the international community to remove sanctions imposed on the nation, saying the country has now opened a new chapter and is ready to engage with the rest of the world.

During the 39th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government which was held in Tanzania last month, a declaration was also made that on 25 October 2019, SADC member states will collectively voice their disapproval of sanctions through various activities to ensure that the sanctions are lifted.

Sanctions negatively impact the financial sector of any given nation. Usually, there will be a decline in balance of payment support, sustained decline in long-term capital, impact on health sector as well as impact on investment and economic growth. All these have been experienced in Zimbabwe, making the lives of the people unbearable.

It must be known that the western communities and international bodies such as the European Union have been imposing economic sanctions to coerce, punish or shame entities that endanger their interests.

It's saddening that sanctions imposed on many countries by the US have been defining the western response to several geopolitical challenges. Some of the challenges include the North Korea's nuclear program and Russia's intervention in Ukraine. In recent years, the US expanded the use of sanctions, applying and ramping them up against adversaries in countries such as Iran, Russia, Syria and Venezuela.

At the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York which commenced early this week, a group of African-Americans, the December 12 Movement led by Viola Plummer pledged to stage a demonstration against these sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. In solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, the December 12 Movement clarifies that sanctions are trappings of war and that war is being exploded by one of the most ignorant, vicious group of people called the US.

Last year, Econet Wireless founder, Strive Masiyiwa also called for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. The Econet boss highlighted that it's now two decades since the US imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and this has been derailing its economic growth, Masiyiwa said, "I think the sanctions should be removed; there is no justification for them anymore. I have been on record to say the sanctions are not justified and now we are almost 20 years into the sanctions and you can't have one country operating with its hands tied behind the back."

Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe must immediately fall so that the nation can easily trade with other nations and develop its economy for the betterment of its citizens.

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Source - Peacemaker Zano
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