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Sadc anti-sanctions crusade a lost cause

02 Nov 2023 at 05:46hrs | Views
GOOD day, President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Your Excellency, the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) annual Anti-Sanctions Day commemoration held last week was a sham vigil.

It was misdirected for the Sadc chairperson, Angolan President Joao Lourenco to accuse the United States (US) of imposing coercive measures on Zimbabwe. He laid his accusation with the trowel, claiming that the negative image of Zimbabwe and the resultant socio-economic woes were triggered by the imposition of the targeted sanctions.

His appeal for the immediate lifting of the said sanctions was ineffectual. It is known that your government is corrupt and oppressive. It does not promote citizen engagement.

"This appeal by Sadc for the immediate lifting of sanctions  on the Republic of Zimbabwe rests on the backdrop of growing concerns over the impact these sanctions continue to pose on the country and the Sadc region," whimpered Lourenco.

He lamented the two decades since the imposition of the targeted sanctions which he said were characterised by the inability of the people of Zimbabwe to fully achieve their potential as a nation.

Yet, to the contrary, there are only a few government officials who were placed on the targeted sanctions list for corruption and human rights abuse. These annually reviewed embargoes are not binding on the country, but on the targeted individuals.

Your Excellency, it is the deadly combination of corruption and human rights abuse that have created what Lourenco referred to as an alarming double-imposed threat to the livelihoods and survival of citizenry.

Apparently, government is inherently red in tooth and claw. Its human rights record ever since the Gukurahundi massacres is eloquent by its brutality. It is my heartfelt prayer that fish scales must fall from the eyes of Sadc. It is time it dawned on the regional bloc that the sanctions are targeted specifically on some individuals for corruption and human rights abuse.

There has never been malice on the part of the US towards Zimbabwe. Recently, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken underscored in his Independence Day congratulatory message that the US was committed to cordial relations with Zimbabwe.

"On behalf of the government of the United States of America, I congratulate the Zimbabwean people as you celebrate the 43rd anniversary of your independence. The US remains committed to standing with the people of Zimbabwe as we have done since your independence in 1980, to work together to promote democratic institutions, equitable economic growth and public health and food security, " said Blinken.

He went on to emphasise the importance of dialogue.

"Zimbabwe has the chance to set itself on the path to promote citizen engagement and to respect human rights. We will continue to support the people of Zimbabwe to live longer, more prosperous and healthier lives. As you celebrate your independence, please note that our friendship with the Zimbabwean people endures," he amicably stated.

God forbid. Regrettably, the solidarity was all motion but no production. As I see it, it is about time Sadc and the continent wised up. It has to recognise the verity that the Zanu-PF government is entirely its own detractor. With all due respect, it has no civility whatsoever.

It is devoid of the milk of human kindness. Consequently, it is of its own making that the country is in the throes of socio-economic meltdown. Yet, it inherited a thriving economy which Statesman Julius Nyerere termed the jewel of Africa.

High office corruption soon emerged and became endemic in an instant. Also, upholding the values of democratic institutions, equitable economic growth, public health and food security were compromised. Even the fund that was budgeted for the compensation for injuries suffered during the liberation war was abused with impunity, with some claiming absurdly exaggerated disability percentages.

Despite several commissions of inquiry into corruption, convicts got away with light strokes on the knuckles. A convict of the Willowvale Motor Industry Commission chaired by the late Justice Wilson Sandura, is a holder of a ministerial post in the said second republic government, blithely masquerading as an honourable.

Your Excellency, the negative image of Zimbabwe is primarily home-grown. Methinks it is the sum total of the twin evils of poor governance policies and practices that rendered a deadly blow to the socio-economic nervous system of the country.

Considering the entrenched corruption and subjugation, it is inevitable that citizenry cannot realise full potential. Added to that is the debilitating cancerous effects of fraudulent elections that are overly fraught with electoral chicanery and all sorts of malpractices.

Long before the imposition of the targeted sanctions by the US government two decades ago, the Zanu-PF government had been notorious for authoritarian rule, corruption and electoral malpractices.

Its ruling elite was swimming in wealth whose sources could hardly be traced to business acumen. None among them has the moral standing to inspire the youth on business ethics and social responsibility. There is no credible narrative to their cosy lifestyles.

Fundamentally, legitimacy cannot accrue from a sham election. Considering the negative reports from all election observer missions, on the backdrop of the August 23-24 election that was fiercely contested, you soiled your mantle. It gathered dust and rust.

Your Excellency, the Sadc solidarity is a lost cause. It was a much ado about nothing appeal. As I see it, it is incumbent upon you to avert the consequences of inevitable isolation. From where I stand, you have a moral obligation to resign.

Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public-speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.

Source - newsday
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