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UK imposing sanctions on Zanu PF pressuring SADC to do same - is it too little too late

31 Oct 2020 at 07:46hrs | Views
One of the biggest Zimbabwe foreign policy blunders the British government has ever made in the last decade was to believe Mnangagwa's foolish rhetoric that Zimbabwe had changed for the better following the November 2017 military coup. The British believed village idiots like Professor Stephen Chan that Mnangagwa deserve a chance to prove himself.
Well; three years on, Mnangagwa has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that he is the same corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging and murderous tyrant he was during Mugabe days. A leopard will roll in elephant dung to hide its scent, it does not lose its spots too.

The British government should have listened to then Labour MP Kate Hoey who condemned Mnangagwa and his regime for blatantly rigging the July 2018 elections and recommended that the regime should receive no support. It is refreshing to see that the British government has finally come to its senses.

"The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 now provides the legal basis for the UK to impose autonomous sanctions, and we are in the process of considering our approach to the future sanctions regime in Zimbabwe," said UK Minister of State for Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development Baroness Elizabeth Sugg.

Baroness Sugg was responding to a question raised by British MP and former anti-apartheid campaigner, Lord Peter Hain who asked what specific steps the UK government was taking to sanction Zimbabwe for gross human rights abuses.

40 years of Zanu PF corrupt and tyrannical rule have left Zimbabwe in economic ruins, basic services such as education and health have all but totally collapsed and millions of Zimbabweans now live in extreme poverty. The corona virus pandemic has overlaid its own health and economic problems turning a tragic situation into a catastrophe of Biblical proportion. Zimbabwe is standing on the edge of the precipitous abyss.

40 years of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship have dragged this nation to the edge of the abyss. Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF cronies must now be stopped before they dragged the nation over the edge. All pressure must be brought to bear of Mnangagwa and company to accept the reality that economic situation in Zimbabwe is unsustainable, to accept the reality that Zanu PF dictatorship is the root cause of the economic meltdown and must therefore be dismantled.

Without meaningful democratic change, Zimbabwe's economic meltdown will continue and drag the nation over the edge into the abyss. All pressure must therefore be brought to bear on Zanu PF to accept democratic and peaceful change now before it is too late. The targeted sanctions imposed by the west are a part of that cocktail of democratic pressure.
Of course, every thinking Zimbabwean welcomes the British government's decision to renew the sanctions on Mnangagwa and his cronies. The alternative to peaceful pressure is the violent change brought about by street protests or worse. The consequences of violent change are death and destruction; no thinking person wants that!

The renewed sanctions must be a lot more than the token sanctions of the past to reflect the seriousness and urgency of the present situation. The sanctions must target the usual suspects but rope in new players too.

Sell-outs like Professor Mthuli Ncube and Minister Kirsty Coventry must be added to the sanctions list for working with the regime knowing fully well that it rigged the elections. And opposition leaders too must be included on the list for participating in flawed elections and thus giving the Zanu PF regime some modicum of legitimacy.

"We note, as deeply unfortunate, the implied threat of more sanctions from the UK and the assurance given to the Lords that such measures are currently under active consideration in London," commented Zimbabwe's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sibusiso Moyo.

"Equally unfortunate is the clear acknowledgement by the British government that it is actively engaging others, including the African Union, the European Union, the Commonwealth, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and South Africa with a view to further intensifying pressure upon Zimbabwe."

Zanu PF must be left in no doubt that the party will not be allowed to get away with yet another rigged elections in 2023. AU and SADC turned a blind eye to rigged 2018 elections; the British government is right in making sure that SADC and AU do not make the same mistake ever again.
It is now over two years since the rigged July 2018 elections; Zanu PF has not implemented even one reform to ensure the 2023 elections are free, fair and credible. There is nothing to suggest the party has any intention of implementing any reforms. Zanu PF is determined to stay in power until 2023 and will go on to rig those elections.

Ideally, pressure must be brought to bear on Mnangagwa and company to step down a.s.a.p. so the country can appoint an interim administration that can bring order and sanity, end the economic and political chaos and mayhem and stop the nation taking the final step over the edge.

The interim administration will also be tasked to implement the democratic reforms to guarantee free, fair and credible elections; the pre-requisite first step back from the brink. Free and fair elections is Zimbabwe's ticket out of this corrupt, tyrannical and dysfunctional dictatorship into a healthy and functional democracy.

If we cannot get Zanu PF to step down and get the democratic reforms implemented before the 2023 elections then we must make damn well sure the 2023 elections are declared null and void and a Zanu PF regime declared illegitimate. The last thing Zimbabwe wants is a Zanu PF government beyond 2023; it will be the last push over the edge, if the nation has not tumbled over the edge already.

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